Pathos & ethos: Emotions and willingness to pay for tobacco products

Francesco Bogliacino, Cristiano Codagnone, Giuseppe Alessandro Veltri, Amitav Chakravarti, Pietro Ortoleva, George Gaskell, Andriy Ivchenko, Francisco Lupianez-Villanueva, Francesco Mureddu, Caroline Rudisill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In this article we use data from a multi-country Randomized Control Trial study on the effect of anti-tobacco pictorial warnings on an individual's emotions and behavior. By exploiting the exogenous variations of images as an instrument, we are able to identify the effect of emotional responses. We use a range of outcome variables, from cognitive (risk perception and depth of processing) to behavioural (willingness to buy and willingness to pay). Our findings suggest that the odds of buying a tobacco product can be reduced by 80% if the negative affect elicited by the images increases by one standard deviation. More importantly from a public policy perspective, not all emotions behave alike, as eliciting shame, anger, or distress proves more effective in reducing smoking than fear and disgust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0139542
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 20 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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