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Aner Sela - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Aner Sela

Associate Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Aner Sela is an expert on how people make decisions and form evaluations.


Aner Sela is an expert on how people make decisions and form evaluations. His work highlights how everyday decisions are shaped by people's momentary experiences, intuitions and the inferences they draw, as well as by seemingly unimportant features of the decision context. Aner is the City Furniture professor in the Marketing Department in the Warrington College of Business.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Inference-making and Attribution‎

Multi-attribute Choice

Consumer Behavior

Decision Difficulty

Value Perception



Media Appearances (5)

Consumers Habitually Seek the Middle Ground

UCLA Anderson Review  online


In a review of published and unpublished research, Stanford’s Itamar Simonson, the University of Florida’s Aner Sela and UCLA Anderson’s Sanjay Sood suggest a less dynamic process might be at play. They find that the behavioral bias of “extremeness aversion” is an ingrained habit that can influence consumer choice.

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A Smarter Way to Think About Financial Decisions

The New York Times  online


“There's something about financial decisions that goes beyond knowledge,” Aner Sela, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Florida...

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Don't Be Surprised If Apple's iPhone X Doesn't Make You Happier

Forbes  online


Aner Sela, a marketing professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, studied this tendency toward comparison neglect — particularly when presented with upgrades. His work (specifically in the context of smart phones) shows that few people actually compare features unless we are prompted to do so (more details on the study are here) which is the last thing a company with the insane marketing savvy of Apple is going to do for you.

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How Apple Lures Us Into Buying New iPhones We Don’t Need

The Huffington Post  online


“‘Comparison neglect’ is the name we gave to people’s tendency to insufficiently compare potential upgrades to what they already have,” study co-author Dr. Aner Sela, a marketing professor at the University of Florida, told The Huffington Post. “Although people know that is important to do, they often fail to do so and consequently buy more upgrades than they would have had they followed their own recommendation.”

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Too Much Variety Can Hurt the Value of a Product

Big Think  online


Authors Jordan Etkin and Aner Sela write: "Consumers often use the same product in the same way in multiple situations, and these situations may differ in variety. Across many different products and usage scenarios, we found the same result: When people perceived more variety among a product's usage situations, they liked the product less."

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Articles (2)

Product Lineups: The More You Search, The Less You Find

Journal of Consumer Research

Sang Kyu Park and Aner Sela


Consumers often try to visually identify a previously encountered product among a sequence of similar items, guided only by their memory and a few general search terms. What determines their success at correctly identifying the target product in such “product lineups”? The current research finds that the longer consumers search sequentially, the more conservative and—ironically—inaccurate judges they become.

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Variety-Seeking and Perceived Expertise

Journal of Consumer Psychology

Aner Sela, et al.


People often infer expertise from the choice of unique, rare, or sophisticated options. But might mere variety-seeking also serve as a signal of expertise, and if so, how? Six studies show that the relationship between variety-seeking and perceived expertise is not unidirectional and depends on the perceiver's own level of expertise. Category experts perceive lower variety-seeking as indicative of discernment, which in turn increases perceived expertise in that category.

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Aner Sela: Decision Quicksand