Glucose Depletion and Decision Making: An Examination of Choice in Context

Eric Shih, Seigyoung Auh, Bulent Menguc

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper investigates the idea of an energy model which suggests that the mind requires energy resource when making effortful decisions. In particular, we hypothesize that ingestion of sugar provides the body with glucose as fuel for the brain, and this can reduce reliance on intuitive, heuristic-based decision making. In three experiments, we tested this hypothesis on three types of choices in context, namely reference dependence, attraction, and compromise effect. Participants completed a choice task after drinking lemonade sweetened with either sugar (glucose condition) or Splenda (placebo condition). The results showed that participants who drank lemonade with sugar made more choices that were consistent with using deliberative thinking processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


  • Choice Task
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Decision Making
  • Energy Model
  • Energy Resource

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management


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