Cognition & Consumer Behavior Lab


Our research aims at a better understanding of how people make decisions and judgments. In particular, we are interested in how consumer behavior systematically varies depending on contextual, environmental, and social influences. We rely on theories from multiple disciplines, including Psychology, Cognitive Science, Marketing, and Management. Methodologically, we follow a quantitative approach that builds on conducting controlled experiments in the lab and in the field and on computer simulations.


Current Research Topics at our Lab

Influence of Basic Psychological Processes on Economic Behavior

We aim to bridge basic psychological research with contemporary questions of how people make judgments and decisions in an economic context. For example, we are interested to find out in how far economic preferences such as risk aversion are due to perceptual biases in how people integrate and estimate numerical information. Another project tries to find out what decision strategies people use when the options to choose from become increasingly uncertain because they are difficult to understand.

Methodological Advances in Economic Psychology

We try to extend the methodological toolbox of researchers in social sciences. This includes an ongoing project that tests the validity of computational models of behavior for explaining and predicting behavior. Here, we show that model parameters are often highly correlated which impairs explanatory power. We identify reasons for this intercorrelation and provide feasible solutions for this problem. As a research group we are also interested in new methodological approaches to analyze data, in particular Bayesian statistics and Bayesian hypothesis testing. We also develop new methodological tools, for example on implicit measures of consumer preferences based on reaction times and eye movements. 

Improving Consumer Health and Well-Being

A better understanding of consumer behavior can help people who are trying to improve their health and well-being. Towards this goal, we are particularly interested in how people choose food and how consumption decisions are influenced by people’s social environment, for example within their families. 



Money does not stink: Using unpleasant odors as stimulus material changes risky decision making.
Helversen, B.; Coppin, G.; Scheibehenne, B.
2020. Journal of behavioral decision making, 33 (5), 593–605. doi:10.1002/bdm.2178
How does the peak-end rule smell? Tracing hedonic experience with odours.
Scheibehenne, B.; Coppin, G.
2020. Cognition & emotion, 34 (4), 713–727. doi:10.1080/02699931.2019.1675599
Accuracy of food preference predictions in couples.
Scheibehenne, B.; Matab, J.; Richter, D.
2019. Appetite, 133, 344–352
Empirical comparison of the adjustable spanner and the adaptive toolbox models of choice.
Krefeld-Schwalb, A.; Donkin, C.; Newell, B. R.; Scheibehenne, B.
2019. Journal of experimental psychology / Learning, memory, and cognition, 45 (7), 1151–1165. doi:10.1037/xlm0000641
Pill or bill? Influence of monetary incentives on the perceived riskiness and the ethical approval of clinical trials.
Hoffart, J.; Scheibehenne, B.
2019. Judgment and decision making, 14 (2), 130–134
Taxing cognitive capacities reduces choice consistency rather than preference: A model-based test.
Olschewski, S.; Rieskamp, J.; Scheibehenne, B.
2018. Journal of experimental psychology / General, 147 (4), 462–484. doi:10.1037/xge0000403
Unpacking buyer-seller differences in valuation from experience: A cognitive modeling approach.
Pachur, T.; Scheibehenne, B.
2017. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 24 (6), 1742–1773. doi:10.3758/s13423-017-1237-4
Fixed or Random? A Resolution Through Model Averaging: Reply to Carlsson, Schimmack, Williams, and Bürkner (2017).
Scheibehenne, B.; Gronau, Q. F.; Jamil, T.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.
2017. Psychological science, 28 (11), 1698–1701. doi:10.1177/0956797617724426
Bayesian Inference for Correlations in the Presence of Measurement Error and Estimation Uncertainty.
Matzke, D.; Ly, A.; Selker, R.; Weeda, W. D.; Scheibehenne, B.; Lee, M. D.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.
2017. Collabra, 3 (1), 25. doi:10.1525/collabra.78
Bayesian Evidence Synthesis Can Reconcile Seemingly Inconsistent Results – The Case of Hotel Towel Reuse.
Scheibehenne, B.; Jamil, T.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.
2016. Psychological science, 27 (7), 1043–1046. doi:10.1177/0956797616644081
Betting on Illusory Patterns: Probability Matching in Habitual Gamblers.
Gaissmaier, W.; Wilke, A.; Scheibehenne, B.; McCanney, P.; Barrett, H. C.
2016. Journal of gambling studies, 32 (1), 143–156. doi:10.1007/s10899-015-9539-9
The psychophysics of price perception: Evidence from the lab and from the field.
Scheibehenne, B.
2016. Advances in consumer research, 44, 612
A generalized distance function for preferential choices.
Berkowitsch, N. A. J.; Scheibehenne, B.; Rieskamp, J.; Matthäus, M.
2015. The British journal of mathematical and statistical psychology, 68 (2), 310–325. doi:10.1111/bmsp.12048
An information theory account of preference prediction accuracy.
Pollmann, M. M. H.; Scheibehenne, B.
2015. Journal of consumer psychology, 25 (2), 286–295. doi:10.1016/j.jcps.2014.10.002
Different strategies for evaluating consumer products: Attribute- and exemplar-based approaches compared.
Scheibehenne, B.; Helversen, B. von; Rieskamp, J.
2015. Journal of economic psychology, 46, 39–50. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2014.11.006
The influence of visual salience on video consumption behavior – A survival analysis approach.
Huber, R.; Scheibehenne, B.; Chapiro, A.; Frey, S.; Sumner, R. W.
2015. WebSci ’15: ACM Web Science Conference, Oxford, United Kingdom, June 28 - July 1, 2015. Ed.: D. De Roure, 1–2, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/2786451.2786507
How outcome dependencies affect decisions under risk.
Andraszewicz, S.; Rieskamp, J.; Scheibehenne, B.
2015. Decision, 2 (2), 127–144. doi:10.1037/dec0000028
Illusionary pattern detection in habitual gamblers.
Wilke, A.; Scheibehenne, B.; Gaissmaier, W.; McCanney, P.; Barrett, H. C.
2014. Evolution and human behavior, 35 (4), 291–297. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.02.010
Genetic influences on dietary variety - Results from a twin study.
Scheibehenne, B.; Todd, P. M.; van den Berg, S. M.; Hatemi, P. K.; Eaves, L. J.; Vogler, C.
2014. Appetite, 77C, 131–138. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2014.03.001
A hierarchical Bayesian model of the influence of run length on sequential predictions.
Scheibehenne, B.; Studer, B.
2014. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 21 (1), 211–217. doi:10.3758/s13423-013-0469-1
Rigorously testing multialternative decision field theory against random utility models.
Berkowitsch, N. A. J.; Scheibehenne, B.; Rieskamp, J.
2014. Journal of experimental psychology / General, 143 (3), 1331–1348. doi:10.1037/a0035159
Change and status quo in decisions with defaults: The effect of incidental emotions depends on the type of default.
Shevchenko, Y.; Helversen, B. von; Scheibehenne, B.
2014. Judgment and decision making, 9 (3), 287–296
Selecting decision strategies: The differential role of affect.
Scheibehenne, B.; Helversen, B. von.
2014. Cognition & emotion, 29 (1), 158–167. doi:10.1080/02699931.2014.896318
An Introduction to Bayesian Hypothesis Testing for Management Research.
Andraszewicz, S.; Scheibehenne, B.; Rieskamp, J.; Grasman, R.; Verhagen, J.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.
2014. Journal of management, 41 (2), 521–543. doi:10.1177/0149206314560412
Hierarchical Bayesian Modeling: Does it Improve Parameter Stability?.
Scheibehenne, B.; Pachur, T.
2013. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Ed.: M. Knauff, 1277–1282, Cognitive Science Society
Testing adaptive toolbox models: A Bayesian hierarchical approach.
Scheibehenne, B.; Rieskamp, J.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.
2013. Psychological review, 120 (1), 39–64. doi:10.1037/a0030777
Constructing preference from experience: The endowment effect reflected in external information search.
Pachur, T.; Scheibehenne, B.
2012. Journal of experimental psychology / Learning, memory, and cognition, 38 (4), 1108–1116. doi:10.1037/a0027637
Older but not wiser—Predicting a partner’s preferences gets worse with age.
Scheibehenne, B.; Mata, J.; Todd, P. M.
2011. Journal of consumer psychology, 21 (2), 184–191. doi:10.1016/j.jcps.2010.08.001
Expectations of clumpy resources influence predictions of sequential events.
Scheibehenne, B.; Wilke, A.; Todd, P. M.
2011. Evolution and human behavior, 32 (5), 326–333
Dining in the dark. The importance of visual cues for food consumption and satiety.
Scheibehenne, B.; Todd, P. M.; Wansink, B.
2010. Appetite, 55 (3), 710–713. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2010.08.002
Can There Ever Be Too Many Options? A Meta-Analytic Review of Choice Overload.
Scheibehenne, B.; Greifeneder, R.; Todd, P. M.
2010. Journal of consumer research, 37 (3), 409–425. doi:10.1086/651235
Less may be more when choosing is difficult: Choice complexity and too much choice.
Greifeneder, R.; Scheibehenne, B.; Kleber, N.
2010. Acta psychologica, 133 (1), 45–50. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2009.08.005
(When) Does Choice Overload Occur? - a Meta-Analysis.
Scheibehenne, B.; Greifeneder, R.; Todd, P. M.
2010. Advances in consumer research, 37, 499
A Bayesian Antidote Against Strategy Sprawl.
Scheibehenne, B.; Rieskamp, J.
2010. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 32, 1910–1915
Cognitive Models of Choice: Comparing Decision Field Theory to the Proportional Difference Model.
Scheibehenne, B.; Rieskamp, J.; González-Vallejo, C.
2009. Cognitive science, 33 (5), 911–939. doi:10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01034.x
What moderates the too-much-choice effect?.
Scheibehenne, B.; Greifeneder, R.; Todd, P. M.
2009. Psychology & marketing, 26 (3), 229–253. doi:10.1002/mar.20271
Introduction to the special issue on assortment structure and choice.
Scheibehenne, B.; Todd, P. M.
2009. Psychology & marketing, 26 (3), 195–196. doi:10.1002/mar.20267
Useful Heuristics.
Scheibehenne, B.; Helversen, B. von.
2009. Making Essential Choices with Scant Information Front-End Decision Making in Major Projects. Ed.: T. Williams, 195–212, Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/9780230236837
Eaters In The Dark: The Primacy of Cognitive Factors For Food Consumption And Satiety.
Scheibehenne, B.; Todd, P. M.; Wansink, B.
2009. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 31, 2095–2099
Predicting children’s meal preferences: How much do parents know?.
Mata, J.; Scheibehenne, B.; Todd, P. M.
2008. Appetite, 50 (2-3), 367–375. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2007.09.001
Fast and frugal food choices: Uncovering individual decision heuristics.
Scheibehenne, B.; Miesler, L.; Todd, P. M.
2007. Appetite, 49 (3), 578–589. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2007.03.224
Predicting Wimbledon 2005 tennis results by mere player name recognition.
Scheibehenne, B.; Bröder, A.
2007. International journal of forecasting, 23 (3), 415–426. doi:10.1016/j.ijforecast.2007.05.006