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Your Passion for Even Chocolates and Hybrid Cars is Influenced By Genes

by Tanya Thomas on September 22, 2010 at 10:41 AM
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 Your Passion for Even Chocolates and Hybrid Cars is Influenced By Genes

Blame your inclination towards chocolates and hybrid cars to your genes, says a new study, which found that clues to consumer behaviour may be lurking our genes.

"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," said authors Itamar Simonson (Stanford University) and Aner Sela (University of Florida, Gainesville).

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The authors studied twins' consumer preferences to determine whether or not certain behaviours or traits have a genetic basis.

"A greater similarity in behaviour or trait between identical than between fraternal twins indicates that the behaviour or trait is likely to be heritable," explained the authors.
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The authors discovered that people seem to inherit the following 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).

They also found that likings for specific products seemed to be genetically related: chocolate, mustard, hybrid cars, science fiction movies, and jazz.

The researchers also found that some tendencies did not seem to be heritable-for example, a preference for a smaller versus larger product variety or likings for ketchup and tattoos.

"The current research suggests that heritable and other hard-wired inherent preference components play a key role in behavior and deserve much more attention in marketing and decision-making research," the authors write.

The authors believe their work may reveal some important information on the genetics of "prudence."

"Some people may be born with a tendency to 'be in the mainstream' whereas others tend to 'live on the edge," concluded the authors.

The study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Source: ANI
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