What can tobacco addiction teach us about consumer decision making? Consumer behavior, hedonic forecast and reward

Alejandro Salgado-Montejo, Carlos Velasco, Cristina Blanco and Enrique Guarin
FeedBACK-Neurosketch Social Behavior and Consumer Neuroscience Laboratory, Colombia


The decision making process involves biological, cultural and social variables which converge in the brain (Lee, 2008). Recent developments have shed new light on the relationship between economics and psychology and thus on how we decide and select products, brands and why and how our expectations shift (Gigerenzer, 2008). These new developments explain why in some scenarios the effect of products and campaigns is weaker than was predicted by market research.

Understanding the role of uncertainty, time limitations during decisions, and consumers’ proficiency at handling excess or limited information is crucial in explaining, firstly, the weak predictability of research methods regarding consumer behavior in some contexts, and secondly that the path to understand consumer decisions is deeply rooted in brain function. All in all, there are still aspects that are not being considered and neuromarketing has created a partial explanation regarding how emotion, attention and memory are interconnected and related to decision making processes.