The Politics of Choice: Political Ideology and Intolerance of Ambiguity

Adam Farmer, Blair Kidwell, David M. Hardesty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The authors examine how political ideology impacts consumer preferences for hedonic and utilitarian choices and the underlying reasons for these differences. Five studies indicate that conservatives are less tolerant of ambiguity than liberals, leading to a preference for utilitarian options, whereas liberals are more tolerant of ambiguity leading to a preference for hedonic options. However, these preferences were reversed when utilitarian options were framed as ambiguous and hedonic options were framed as explicit and clear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-21
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society for Consumer Psychology


  • Choice
  • Political ideology
  • Preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


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