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Abstract

Decision making involves constructing value of the items under consideration through deliberation over associated attributes that are learned, and comparing features between choice options. However, items and attributes can be differentially encoded. Some may be more memorable than others, which suggests that specific attributes may be prioritized for consideration during deliberation. In the current work, we propose that more memorable food items would more likely to be chosen if the subjective values of the items are similar. First, we measured the memorability scores of food images in the Food Folio dataset, which contains food items in different categories that vary in nutritional factors. Then, we conducted a binary value-based choice task that asked participants to choose between two food items based on their personal preferences. Exploratory analysis showed that more memorable items tended to be perceived as tastier, and tastier food tended to be rated higher on subjective value. Regression models showed that participants’ choices were associated with their stated subjective values for foods, and that participants spent more time making choices between options that were similarly valued. However, there was no significant relationship between memorability and choice behavior. These results suggest that memorability may function as an attribute for constructing the overall subjective value that drives choice behavior.

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