Consumer Preferences Could Be in Genes

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 20 (UPI) — Genes might influence consumer behaviors and choices, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Florida studied the consumer preferences of twins to determine whether certain behaviors or traits have a genetic basis, an article published in the Journal of Consumer Research reports.


“A greater similarity in behavior or trait between identical than between fraternal twins indicates that the behavior or trait is likely to be heritable,” the article said.

The results, researchers say, suggest people seem to inherit tendencies to choose a compromise option and avoid extremes; select sure gains over gambles; prefer an easy but non-rewarding task over an enjoyable challenging one; look for the best option available; and prefer utilitarian, clearly needed options (like batteries) over more indulgent ones (gourmet chocolate).

The study found that likings for specific products — such as chocolate, mustard, hybrid cars, science fiction movies and jazz — seemed to be genetically related.

“We examine a wide range of consumer judgment and decision-making phenomenon and discover that many — though not all of them — are in fact heritable or influenced by genetic factors,” the article’s authors wrote.

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Categorized | Cars, Other
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