Choosing unknown goods: An fMRI study of product choice


Choice between known goods and unknown goods is repeated in everyday life as new products go on the market one after another. Although such choice is one of the key factors of consumer behavior, very few experimental studies have been done thereon. In the present study, repetitive choices among known goods and unknown goods are performed by utilizing mineral water as stimuli and characteristics related to the choice are examined. Further, brain activity during product choice was measured with fMRI. As a result, subjects who had a tendency to seek for information tend to choose unknown goods more and activity in the right frontal pole was observed when unknown goods were chosen. These results indicate that choosing unknown goods is a behavior for the purpose of gaining information but not a consequence of balancing the profits and losses.

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