In this paper we estimate and empirically test different behavioral theories of consumer reference price formation. Two major theories are proposed to model the reference price reaction: assimilation contrast theory and prospect theory. We assume that different consumer segments will use different reference prices. The study builds on earlier research by Kalyanaram and Little (1994); however, in contrast to their work, we use parametric and semiparametric approaches to detect the structure of the underlying data sets. The different models are tested using a program module in GAUSS that was able to account for heterogeneity. The model types were calibrated by a simulation study. The calibrated modules were then used to analyze real market data.