Novemsky’s research is highly relevant to real-life situations because it shows how we can make more accurate decisions. On the one hand, top-down decision-making has obvious adaptive value, especially when our limited experiences are not representative of a larger trend or tendency. On the other hand, Novemsky suggests that we do not pay enough attention to our experiences when making hedonic evaluations. In the case of fat-free cheese, for example, or for any other food product, it might make more sense to pay attention to our individual experiences. Paying attention to hedonic experiences, even when they diverge from our beliefs, could help us improve our thinking when deciding whether or not to purchase a certain item or make choices in other domains.
Novemsky’s line of research may have far-reaching implications not only for product evaluations but also for the legal system. According to Hastie and Pennington’s story model of juror decision-making, jurors select the verdict that best matches the stories they have developed. This theory has been corroborated by more recent studies that show higher recognition among mock jurors for statements in their accepted version of a verdict story versus the other verdict story. In addition, jurors have false recognition for inferred statements that are consistent with their verdict story but where never presented as evidence. Although jurors’ decision-making processes are not completely analogous to the hedonic evaluations studied by Novemsky, I believe there is significant overlap and room for further study. By improving our understanding of jurors’ attention and memory for certain kinds of evidence, we may be able to improve the deliberation process. For examples, perhaps judges could give specific instructions to help jurors be aware of and hopefully counterbalance these phenomena.