"Head versus heart"

Article English OPEN
Paul Rozin ; Heidi Grant ; Stephanie Weinberg ; Scott Parker (2007)
  • Publisher: Society for Judgment and Decision Making
  • Journal: Judgment and Decision Making (issn: 1930-2975)
  • Subject: sympathetic magic | willingness to pay | preference | rationality.NAKeywords | Psychology | BF1-990 | Economics as a science | HB71-74

Most American respondents give ``irrational,'' magical responses in a variety of situations that exemplify the sympathetic magical laws of similarity and contagion. In most of these cases, respondents are aware that their responses (usually rejections, as of fudge crafted to look like dog feces, or a food touched by a sterilized, dead cockroach) are not ``scientifically'' justified, but they are willing to avow them. We interpret this, in some sense, as ``heart over head.'' We report in this study that American adults and undergraduates are substantially less likely to acknowledge magical effects when the judgments involve money (amount willing to pay to avoid an ``unpleasant'' magical contact) than they are when using preference or rating measures. We conclude that in ``head-heart'' conflicts of this type, money tips the balance towards the former, or, in other words, that money makes the mind less magical.
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