Faculty of Business Administration

Seminar Series


The Psychophysiological Correlates of Loss Aversion in Hotel Choices

Dr. Robin Chi Hang CHARK
Assistant Profession in Integrated Resort and Tourism Management
University of Macau

Date:          27 November, 2019 (Wednesday)

Time:         11:30~12:30

Venue:       Faculty of Business Administration, E22-4010


Loss aversion is robustly observed across a wide range of decisions. We study this phenomenon in hotel choices. Loss aversion predicts that the presentation order of the hotel options makes a difference in decision makers’ choices. In particular, they are reluctant to switch from their first encountered option to a subsequently encountered alternative. We find that this reluctance only occurs when the switch results in an upgrade to a higher quality hotel but not in the case of a downgrading decision. We further examine the psychophysiological correlates of loss aversion by taking measures of electrodermal activity during the hotel choices. Supporting the emotional account of loss aversion, participants are more physiologically aroused when they choose to upgrade. In addition, these upgrading decisions often take shorter time to make, ruling out the cognitive conflict account. The decision time result also suggests that the upgrading decision is likely be driven by impulse.


Robin Chark, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Macau. His research interests include tourist behavior, consumer behavior, behavioral economics, and neuroeconomics. His articles have appeared in the Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Neuroimage, and more.