A rational analysis of marketing strategies


Rational accounts of decision-making are incompatible with the prevalence and success of ubiquitous marketing strategies. In this paper, we demonstrate, using computational experiments, how an ideal Bayesian observer model of preference learning is compatible with the manipulation of purchasing decisions via a number of well-known marketing techniques. The ability of this model to predict the effects of both familiar and novel marketing interventions suggests it as a plausible candidate theory of consumer marketing. Simultaneously, by clarifying the logic underneath the interplay between environmental exposure and preference distortions seen in economic decisions, this model rationalizes the seemingly irrational susceptibility of consumers to marketing.

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