Consumer behavior

Contact: Prof. Dr. Soyoung Q Park, Dr. Eva Fröhlich, Dr. Damiano Terenzi, Dr. Annabel Losecaat Vermeer, Dr. Anoushiravan Zahedi

Funding: DZD, DFG

What did you eat for lunch? Why did you choose it?

Our primary research goal is to identify the motives and mechanisms underlying choice. One strong driving force is reward value, i.e., how much we like or want certain foods or items (Park et al., 2012, PNAS; Park et al., 2010, J. Neurosci.; Terenzi et al., 2018, Parkinsonism Relat. Disord.). Mostly, over the course of life, we learn those values by repeated exposure to them (Kahnt & Park, 2009, J. Cogn. Neurosci.). Furthermore, we might take into account the cost that is related to gaining these values  (Park et al., 2011, J. Neurosci.; Terenzi et al., 2019, Sci. Rep.). In similar ways, we are motivated to seek information that is related to choice and choice outcomes. Once we better understand the underlying mechanisms, we will also be able to come up with innovative ideas to optimize decisions in order to foster mental and/or physical well-being (Park et al., 2010, J. Neurosci.; Park et al., 2017, Nat. Comm.; Liu et al., 2020, Addict. Biol.). For example, by utilizing reward and positive mood through humor, we aim to change the choices we make to reduce stress (Fröhlich et al., 2021, Sci. Rep.) or aversion (Park et al., 2011, J. Neurosci.).