Contingencies: Learning Numerical and Emotional Associations in an Uncertain World Defended on Friday, 10 June 2011

The ability to learn about the relation or covariation between events happening in the world is probably the most critical aspect of human cognition. This dissertation examines how the human mind learns numerical and emotional relations and explores consequences for managerial and consumer decision making.

First, we study how uncertainty in the environment affects covariation learning and explore the consequences for consumers’ price-quality inferences and product valuation. Second, we examine how different types of accountability (process versus outcome) and analytical intelligence affect learning and judgment. We highlight the implications for employee performance management. Third, building on associative models of memory, we show that bilingual consumers perceive advertising messages in their native language (L1) to be more emotionally intense than advertising messages in their second language (L2). Finally, we explore the consequences of a greater perceived emotionality in L1 for international marketing research.
The practical implications of this dissertation are of interest for professionals working in the area of pricing, branding, marketing research, and human resources. From a theoretical point of view, this dissertation relates to the fields of judgment and decision making under uncertainty and cognitive psychology.


price-quality inferences, pricing, cue learning, associative learning, judgment and decision making under uncertainty, process/outcome accountability, performance appraisal, analytical intelligence, thinking style, language, bilingualism, emotion perception, international marketing research

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