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Manoj Thomas


Director, Business Simulation Laboratory

Associate Professor of Marketing

Email: manojthomas@cornell.edu

353 Sage Hall

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853-6201

Phone: 607-255-7207

Cornell University Webpage



Heuristics in Consumer Decision Making



Heuristics are decision-making rules or cognitive strategies that simplify complex decisions. We use heuristics, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously, to efficiently navigate through the complex maze of everyday decisions. We often apply heuristics inappropriately resulting in irrational decisions; therefore, studying irrational decisions can inform us about the underlying heuristics. My research has identified several irrational patterns in consumer decisions such as the left digit effect, the ease-of-computation effect, the precision effect, and the credit card effect that characterize some of the reoccurring heuristics in consumer decisions. I use laboratory experiments to study when and why consumers use these heuristics. The consumer insights from such experiments help managers as well as consumers make better decisions.