Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Wuyang Hu


Economists are still searching for methods to reduce/eliminate Hypothetical Bias (HB). Different methods have been previously applied some with success and others without. In this study, we aimed to further test the cognitive dissonance approach (CD) through a learning design method to estimate the WTP for five beef attributes: Non-quality, Kentucky Proud, Appalachian, Grass Fed and a mix of 25% Non-quality and 75% Kentucky Proud, using a one and one half bounded model. To test the CD, 881 participants from the University of Kentucky, were randomly assigned to a real/hypothetical market for a battery recycling project at first and afterwards to a hypothetical market for beef. For the battery recycling, participants were asked to donate $1, $2 or $3. For the beef market, participants were randomly assigned to a $4 or $6 for the non-quality attribute patty. Participants assigned to a $4 were afterwards randomly assigned to a $4.5, $5, $5.5 or $6 and the ones assigned to a $6 were afterwards assigned to a $6.5, $7, $7.5 and $8 for the other attribute patties. From this study, we found that the learning design was effective in reducing the cognitive dissonance or conflicts between what consumers say and their actions.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)