Numeric Fluency and Preference

Keri Kettle, University of Alberta, Canada
Gerald Häubl, University of Alberta, Canada
We show that people prefer choice alternatives that are comprised of round numbers, and that this preference arises from the greater processing fluency associated with such alternatives. When choosing between comparable gambles, participants were more likely to choose the prospect comprised of round numbers whether or not it was riskier, more or less arithmetically complex, and whether or not they were provided with its expected value. Critically, the presence of even a single round number is sufficient to enhance preference. The effect of numeric fluency on choice is shown in within-subject comparisons, indicating internally inconsistent risk preferences.
[ to cite ]:
Keri Kettle and Gerald Häubl (2010) ,"Numeric Fluency and Preference", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 150-152 .