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Buying Behavior as a Function of Parametric Variation of Number of Choices

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... In an extension of this paradigm, which had usually used just two choice levels (low and high), Shah and Wolford (2007) presented participants with a choice of pens, for which the number of possible options varied from 2 to 20 in increments of 2. Importantly, they found that the likelihood of choosing to buy a pen increased as the number of choices rose to an optimum of 10 options, after which point as choice increased still further, the likelihood of purchase steadily decreased. This suggests that satisfaction is a curvilinear function of the number of options available. ...
... The negative impact of increased choice beyond an optimal intermediate level is variously referred to in the literature as the "the problem of too much choice" (Fasolo, McClelland, & Todd, 2007), the "choice overload hypothesis" (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000;Mogilner, Rudnick, & Iyengar, 2008), the "overchoice effect" (Gourville & Soman, 2005), the "tyranny of choice" (Schwartz, 2000), the "toomuch-choice effect" (Lenton, Fasolo, & Todd, 2008;Scheibehenne, Greifeneder, & Todd, 2009), or the "excess-choice effect" (Arunachalam, Henneberry, Lusk, & Norwood, 2009;Hafner et al., 2016). However, the current research presents a novel term that encompasses Shah and Wolford's (2007; see also Reutskaja & Hogarth, 2009) observation that a moderate level of choice is still better than too little choice. ...
... Specifically, building on research in both developmental psychology, where infants spend longer looking at visual arrays with a moderate amount of information than ones with too little or too much stimulation (Kidd, Piantadosi, & Aslin, 2012), and astrobiology, where the "Goldilocks principle" refers to a planet's need to be neither too near nor too far from a sun to sustain life (Muir, 2007), we present a new term to describe this phenomenon in the domain of choice: the Goldilocks effect for choice (GEC). The central aim of the present study was to test the prevalence of the GEC by directly contrasting levels of potentially "too little" (2) or "too much" (38) choice, with a number of options that, on the basis of previous research (Reutskaja & Hogarth, 2009;Shah & Wolford, 2007) may be perceived to be "just right" (12 options). In addition, we aimed to examine whether the GEC may go beyond simple consumer decisions to the potentially more important domain of health-related choices. ...
Article
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People are often more satisfied with a choice (e.g., chocolates, pens) when the number of options in the choice set is “just right” (e.g., 10–12), neither too few (e.g., 2–4) nor too many (e.g., 30–40). We investigated this “Goldilocks effect” in the context of a placebo treatment. Participants reporting nonspecific complaints (e.g., headaches) chose one of Bach's 38 Flower Essences from a choice set of 2 (low choice), 12 (optimal choice), or 38 (full choice) options to use for a 2-week period. Replicating earlier findings in the novel context of a health-related choice, participants were initially more satisfied with the essence they selected when presented with 12 versus either 2 or 38 options. More importantly, self-reported symptoms were significantly lower 2 weeks later in the optimal (12) versus nonoptimal choice conditions (2 and 38). Because there is no known active ingredient in Bach's Flower Essences, we refer to this as the Goldilocks placebo effect. Supporting a counterfactual thinking account of the Goldilocks effect, and despite significantly fewer symptoms after 2 weeks, those in the optimal choice set condition were no longer significantly more satisfied with their choice at the end of testing. Implications for medical practice, especially patient choice, are discussed.
... Ample research has shown that presenting more options may not always have positive effects. More options can cause overchoice (also referred as "choice overload"), which in turn influences the difficulty to make a choice and satisfaction with the eventually chosen item and decreases choice satisfaction [6,46,51,80,86,88]. ...
... The effects of overchoice have been well studied. However, most research on overchoice in consumer decision making has investigated choice satisfaction by focusing on choices in isolation (i.e., choices within a taxonomy; e.g., [6,46,51,80,86,88]). For example, Iyengar and Lepper [51] investigated overchoice by using an assortment of on a specific set of jams, whereas Bollen et al. [6] created movie recommendations by using only the Top-5 and Top-20 movies. ...
... The overchoice effect has been replicated numerous times in different context, and was shown to affect motivation to choose as well as satisfaction with the chosen item (e.g., [6,46,52,80,88]). Shah and Wolford [88] found a motivational buying decrease in purchasing black pens when the assortment size increases. ...
Article
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Music streaming services increasingly incorporate different ways for users to browse for music. Next to the commonly used “genre” taxonomy, nowadays additional taxonomies, such as mood and activities, are often used. As additional taxonomies have shown to be able to distract the user in their search, we looked at how to predict taxonomy preferences in order to counteract this. Additionally, we looked at how the number of categories presented within a taxonomy influences the user experience. We conducted an online user study where participants interacted with an application called “Tune-A-Find”. We measured taxonomy choice (i.e., mood, activity, or genre), individual differences (e.g., personality traits and music expertise factors), and different user experience factors (i.e., choice difficulty and satisfaction, perceived system usefulness and quality) when presenting either 6- or 24-categories within the picked taxonomy. Among 297 participants, we found that personality traits are related to music taxonomy preferences. Furthermore, our findings show that the number of categories within a taxonomy influences the user experience in different ways and is moderated by music expertise. Our findings can support personalized user interfaces in music streaming services. By knowing the user’s personality and expertise, the user interface can adapt to the user’s preferred way of music browsing and thereby mitigate the problems that music listeners are facing while finding their way through the abundance of music choices online nowadays.
... La evidencia experimental existente sugiere que el número de opciones a las que un consumidor se enfrenta puede tener un impacto negativo sobre la satisfacción y sobre su comportamiento al ralizar una compra (Iyengar y Lepper, 2000;Shah y Wolford, 2007;Boatwright y Nunes, 2001; Reutskaya y Hogarth, 2009). Además, la investigación sugiere que los agentes que toman decisiones (DMs por sus siglas en inglés) pueden desear restringir sus opciones; un ejemplo de esto es que los estudiantes se …jen fechas límite (Ariely y Wertenbroch, 2002); que los consumidores voluntaria y estratégicamente racionen la cantidad de compras que podrían causar problemas de autocontrol (Wertenbroch, 1988); y que los sujetos en un entorno abstracto, a veces pre…eren un subconjunto de opciones dentro de un conjunto mayor al escoger una lotería (Salgado, 2006). ...
... Los resultados del Tratamiento 1 demuestran que mientras incrementa la cantidad de información, disminuye el desempeño del sujeto promedio. Además, se puede inferir que el número de columnas que maximizó el pago promedio estuvo entre 12 y 16, que es menor que el número máximo de columnas disponibles (20). Los resultados del Tratamiento 2, donde los sujetos podían escoger el grado de variedad, con…rman que los sujetos utilizan aversión por la variedad para hacer frente a su limitación cognitiva. ...
... 5 Se puede ver que existe un máximo. El número de columnas que maximiza el resultado según la estimación es 13.75 columnas y el mayor tamaño posible del conjunto de elección (20) no pertenece al intervalo de con…anza del 95 % del argmax. Los resultados sugieren que el tener más de 16 columnas o menos de 12 agrava la situación de los DMs, y esto es consistente con la presencia de sobrecarga de información. ...
... For instance, in this experiment, participants were presented with nine curries. The number of options had been determined based on previous studies, suggesting that eight to ten options are ideal to increase consumers' satisfaction with their choice [20,22,23]. However, participants in this experiment were asked to rank the nine curries, and then they were asked to choose one curry from a group of three curries (i.e., the medium-ranked curries). ...
... However, participants in this experiment were asked to rank the nine curries, and then they were asked to choose one curry from a group of three curries (i.e., the medium-ranked curries). This instruction may have made participants perceive the number of options as three rather than nine, which is thought of as too small a number of options to increase consumers' satisfaction [20,22,23]. Therefore, it was predicted that if the number of options was well manipulated and controlled, the choice effect on palatability perception would be clearly obtained. ...
... The result supported the hypothesis: the choice effect score for the 9-option condition was significantly positive and the highest, but the scores for the 3-option or the 12-option conditions were not significant. This result was consistent with previous findings [20,22,23] that consumers' satisfaction with their choice was higher when the number of options was optimal (e.g., eight to ten), but not when the number of options was too small (e.g., two to four) or too large (e.g., more than twelve). It is indicated that, when the number of options is optimal, satisfaction with the choice is increased, and that increased satisfaction with the choice is misattributed to the palatability of the chosen food or beverage. ...
Article
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Previous studies have shown that affording people choice increases their satisfaction with subsequent experiences: the choice effect. However, it remains unclear whether the choice effect occurs in the hedonic response to foods and beverages. Thus, the present study aimed to demonstrate the choice effect on the palatability perception. Ready-to-serve curries and tea were presented as options in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2, respectively. Experiment 1 failed to demonstrate significant differences among palatability ratings for a curry chosen by participants and for a curry chosen by the experimenter. However, Experiment 2 demonstrated that participants perceived a tea chosen by themselves as more palatable than another tea chosen by the experimenter, regardless of the fact that the two cups of tea were identical. Intriguingly, the effect was obtained only when the number of options was neither too small nor too big. These results indicate that the exercise of choice from an optimal number of options, even when the choice is ostensible and illusory, makes people perceive their chosen foods and beverages as being more palatable. Some implications for the domain of food business are also discussed.
... For instance, there may be important differences between choosing a product vs. choosing an experience as well as between spending money on oneself vs. spending money on others (Polman, 2012;Shaddy et al., 2021). The lack of clear theoretical guidance for what qualifies as too large a set size in specific decision contexts is especially important to consider given previous results suggesting that the relationship between set size and choice outcomes is non-linear, following the shape of an inverted U (Shah and Wolford, 2007;Reutskaja and Hogarth, 2009;Park and Jang, 2013). These results suggest that an increased set size facilitates choosing up to a certain point, after which increases in set size have the opposite effect. ...
... The continuous manipulation used here would however have allowed us to detect a non-linear relationship between set size and choice. The absence of a non-linear effect in the present sample contrasts with previous results indicating a U-shaped effect of set size in prosocial choice contexts (Herzenstein et al., 2020) and previous results indicating an inverted U-shaped effect of set size for different consumer choices (Shah and Wolford, 2007;Reutskaja and Hogarth, 2009;Park and Jang, 2013). However, the absence of a non-linear relationship may be explained by the absence of a choice overload effect in the present sample. ...
Article
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Choice overload is the phenomenon that increasing the number of options in an assortment makes choosing between options more difficult, sometimes leading to avoidance of making a choice. In this pre-registered online experiment (N = 501), choice overload was tested in a charitable behavior context, where participants faced a monetary donation choice. Charity organization assortment size was varied between groups, ranging between 2 and 80 options. The results indicate that there were no meaningful differences in donation likelihood between the 16 organization assortment sizes, neither for individuals with high preference certainty nor for individuals with uncertain preferences among charitable causes. Having more charitable organizations to choose from did not affect donation behavior.
... In other words, consumers can use prices as information justifying their choices. Differentiation pricing involves a range of prices, thus requiring more cognitive effort and higher degrees of confusion (Dhar, 1997;Iyengar & Lepper, 2000;Shah & Wolford, 2007). To simplify the decision task, consumers with high levels of preference uncertainty are likely to use price as a diagnostic cue. ...
... Conversely, participants with high levels of preference uncertainty exhibited higher levels of satisfaction in the differentiation pricing condition. Shifting through a range of prices requires cognitive effort (Dhar, 1997;Iyengar & Lepper, 2000;Shah & Wolford, 2007). Consequently, consumers with high levels of preference uncertainty are likely to use price as a diagnostic cue, thus simplifying their choice making processes. ...
Article
Although consumer research has extensively examined the effect of product assortment on consumption choices, relatively little has been done on assortment pricing. To bridge that gap, we demonstrate that consumers react differently to assortments using parity versus differentiation pricing. Study 1, a field experiment, shows that the impact of assortment pricing on choice satisfaction is contingent on the level of uncertainty preference. For individuals with a low level of preference uncertainty, their choice satisfaction was significantly higher when all the menu items were priced at parity. Conversely, choice satisfaction was higher with varied pricing among people with high levels of preference uncertainty. In Study 2, we examine the moderating role of health consciousness on consumer reactions to parity versus differentiation pricing. The findings of Study 2 indicate that health consciousness influences consumer satisfaction with assortment pricing in a context of restaurant menus. Furthermore, findings from a moderated mediation analysis show that choice confidence is the psychological mechanism that underlies these effects. Taken together, these findings add to the relatively scant literature on assortment pricing.
... Choosers who are satisfied with fewer options can ignore new ones, while those who want more options will benefit from additional alternatives (Von Neumann and Morgenstern 1944). Moreover, too little choice thwarts people's need for autonomy and control over their lives (Deci and Ryan 2002), and consumers are less likely to make a choice when they have very few options compared with a moderate number (Shah and Wolford 2007). ...
... Finally, existing theoretical accounts of the effects of choice set size (Grant and Schwartz 2011;Reutskaja and Hogarth 2009;Shah and Wolford 2007) also often assume that deprivation and overload are best understood not simply as categorical states but as continuously varying, and the laypeople in the forecasting study made the same prediction (see Web Appendix A). The ideal-actual discrepancy approach in the present study provides continuous measures that afford testing whether, across different countries, the effects of deprivation and overload are best understood as categorical states or as continuously varying based on the distance between the actual and ideal amount of choice consumers encounter (RQ 3b-c ). ...
Article
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Whether consumers have too little, too much, or the ideal amount of choice can have profound consequences. The present research explores patterns of choice deprivation (having less choice than desired) and choice overload (having more choice than desired) across six choice domains in six countries that together provide home to about half the human population (Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, and the U.S.; combined N = 7,436). In most domains in most countries, choice deprivation was the norm—only in the U.S. was choice overload sometimes commonly reported. Deprivation was also more strongly related to decreased satisfaction with choices than was overload, suggesting that choice deprivation can be both more common and more consequential than overload. The present research has implications for “inverted-U” theories of consumer choice experiences and underlines the need for more diverse samples, including cross-cultural samples, in research on choice deprivation and overload.
... It seems that customer confusion is not corresponding to each level of product variety. Some authors (Desmeules 2002;Dhar, Hoch, andKumar 2001, Shah andWolford 2007) assume an inverted U-shaped relation between product variety and purchase probability, where people reward small and medium assortments with purchases and punish large assortments with rejection. They show a positive effect of small product ranges and a negative effect for larger product ranges. ...
... They show a positive effect of small product ranges and a negative effect for larger product ranges. Shah and Wolford (2007) tried to investigate purchase decisions in a more parametric fashion. This means that not only a small and a large selection of products was available, but also something in between. ...
Conference Paper
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Health literacy is a discrete form of literacy and becoming an increasingly important aspect for social, economic, and health development. It is already seen as a crucial tool for the prevention of non-communicable disease with investments in education and communication. However, there is not enough knowledge on health literacy’s impact on communicable diseases. Today with the rapid development of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a communicable disease, there has been a need for people to acquire and apply health information. (Paakkari & Okan, 2020) Health communication intended to educate people has become widely available. However, there is also a lot of misinformation, thus forcing individuals to filter and be health literate. This investigation created successful models for predicting the number of COVID-19 cases from data regarding the United States Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, and National Science Board. The successful execution of these machine learning models builds an association between health literacy and COVID-19, under the assumption that states with high COVID-19 cases associate with areas of lower health literacy. These models can be deployed for further analysis of state health care costs and policy challenges.
... Choice overload occurs when an increase in the number of options to choose from has detrimental consequences. For example, choice overload may manifest itself as lower intrinsic motivation to choose, decreased satisfaction with the option finally chosen, decreased satisfaction with the process of choosing, stress, anxiety and choice paralysis (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000;Schwartz, 2004;Shah & Wolford, 2007;Reutskaja & Hogarth, 2009;Grant & Schwartz, 2011;Chernev, Böckenholt, & Goodman, 2015;Nagar & Gandotra, 2016;Reutskaja et al., 2018). ...
... More people purchased pens from intermediate sets (10 alternatives) rather than from small sets or large sets (two or 20 alternatives). Intermediate sets were more "motivating" for people than larger or smaller sets (Shah & Wolford, 2007). There is also biological evidence of too little and too much choice being demotivating. ...
Book
In our information-rich world, people face a great many choice alternatives involving both small and large stakes, from jam and chocolate to health and pension plans. Though classic economics and psychology have both traditionally emphasized the benefits of more information and greater choice, a sizable and parallel body of research has demonstrated that having too much information or too many choices can lead to information and choice overload, choice paralysis, and negative affective states connected with both the decisions process and the choice outcome. This chapter offers a concise summary of evidence collected by researchers for more than half a century on how people deal with large amounts of information and how they make choices from sets with multiple alternatives. The simple cost-benefit model proposed in earlier research is discussed in relation to the mechanism underlying the choice-overload phenomenon.
... The authors also reported a decrease in both satisfactions when the assortment became extensive (30 options), and suggested that satisfaction from choice varied as a function of a number of options. Similarly, Shah and Wolford (2007) reported that people were more likely to buy a pen when provided middle-sized assortments (from 8 to 14 options) than low-sized assortments (from 2 to 6 options) and high-sized assortments (from 16 to 20 options). ...
... Ainsi des facteurs relatifs à l'individu tels que l'âge, la culture ou les traits psychologiques (par exemple lié à la manière dont un individu fait un choix ou encore le désir de contrôle sur son environnement) peuvent moduler l'effet du choix sur les comportements ultérieurs (Bereby-Meyer et al., 2004;Burger, 1990;Iyengar & Lepper, 1999;Iyengar et al., 2006;Schwartz et al., 2002). Des facteurs contextuels tels que l'assortiment (Reutskaja & Hogarth, 2009;Shah & Wolford, 2007). Il a été montré plus généralement que l'effet du choix serait modulé par la quantité d'informations disponibles lors du choix pouvant impacter la difficulté à prendre une décision et donc la qualité de la décision finale (Lurie, 2004). ...
Thesis
Out-of-home catering services frequently offer consumers the opportunity to choose their foods from among different proposals and/or provide consumers with a variety of food. The present thesis aimed at investigating the effect of providing choice of equally-liked foods during a meal on food liking and food intake in healthy, normal-weight adults. The first part focused on two characteristics of a food product assortment (desserts) as modulator factors of the choice effect: (i) the degree of similarities between desserts and (ii) the level of pleasantness of desserts. Two independent behavioral studies using the same paradigm were carried out in adults (n=80 for each experiment) who participated in a choice and a no-choice session. Providing choice enhanced food liking no matter the degree of similarity between the desserts, but enhanced food intake only when products were sufficiently dissimilar. The choice effect on food liking and food intake was not modulated by the level of pleasantness of alternatives. The second part of the thesis assessed the impact of choice and/or variety on food liking and food intake. Fifty-nine adults participated in a 4-session study where they consumed vegetable dishes under the four following conditions: (i) being served one dish (no-choice/no-variety); (ii) being served the three dishes (no-choice/variety); (iii) choosing one dish from among three (choice/no-variety) and (iv) choosing as many dishes as wanted (choice/variety). Providing choice increased vegetable liking and vegetable intake, while offering a variety of vegetables only increased their liking. No synergy effect between choice and variety was observed on vegetable liking and vegetable intake (i.e. the effect in the choice/variety condition was not significantly higher than the effects in the no-choice/variety and choice/no-variety conditions). It may be then concluded that providing choice of food to adults increases food liking even when choice is made among similarly-liked foods. Regarding choice and variety effects, however, their impacts on food intake appear to be vulnerable to contextual factors, and especially, the degree of similarity between food options.
... Choice overload is another context effect naturally captured by divisive normalization. This effect was found in a series of studies challenging the idea that adding options must weakly improve choice outcomes (Chernev, 2004;Iyengar et al., 2003;Iyengar and Lepper, 2000;Shah and Wolford, 2007). Instead, these papers make the argument that having more alternatives can lead to "worse" choices or even declining to choose at all. ...
Article
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Recent advances in neuroscience suggest that a utility-like calculation is involved in how the brain makes choices, and that this calculation may use a computation known as divisive normalization. While this tells us how the brain makes choices, it is not immediately evident why the brain uses this computation or exactly what behavior is consistent with it. In this paper, we address both of these questions by proving a three-way equivalence theorem between the normalization model, an information-processing model, and an axiomatic characterization. The information-processing model views behavior as optimally balancing the expected value of the chosen object against the entropic cost of reducing stochasticity in choice. This provides an optimality rationale for why the brain may have evolved to use normalization-type models. The axiomatic characterization gives a set of testable behavioral statements equivalent to the normalization model. This answers what behavior arises from normalization. Our equivalence result unifies these three models into a single theory that answers the "how", "why", and "what" of choice behavior.
... This paper sparked a proliferation of related research and considerable debate about the boundaries and replicability of the choice overload effect. While some researchers have replicated the effect (e.g., Chernev, 2003;Shah & Wolford, 2007), others have not (e.g., Scheibehenne, Greifeneder, & Todd, 2009). And ultimately, a meta-analysis of the experiments examining the negative consequences of large choice sets showed no overall choice overload effect (Scheibehenne, Greifeneder, & Todd, 2010). ...
Article
Vosgerau, Scopelliti, and Huh (2020) question the construct validity of the most commonly used measures of self‐control and argue that many studies that claim to be examining self‐control may in fact be examining something else. In this comment, we generalize this argument and propose that this criticism could be leveraged against many other areas of consumer research. Indeed, many studies fail to properly establish the construct validity of their measures. Consequently, they may not be examining the construct they purport to be studying, which can lead to unreliable and conflicting findings.
... It is often said (Schwartz, 2005) that there exists a certain point above which additional choices only harm productivity and become a source of suffering, regret, and anxiety. It was shown (Shah and Wolford, 2007) that the initial increase in assortment size caused people to buy more (hence the impact was positive for the producer); however, as the assortment continued to increase, sales started to decrease after a certain point. ...
... In addition, our menus included 5 and 18 options. While the range between these values is likely to induce a choice overload problem, CO is likely to be nonlinear, with 5 and possibly 18 representing the "the edges" of some inverted U-shaped functional form, and therefore, choice overload is not experienced for these sets (e.g., Shah and Wolford, 2007;Reutskaja and Hogarth, 2009). We also designed the experiment to allow participants to consider each option for an infinite amount of time. ...
Article
This study tests the prevalence of choice overload (CO) in the U.S. beer market. We reveal that even if CO exists, sellers have mechanisms to reduce CO's negative consequences. The article describes the implementation of search cost-reducing private nudges (i.e., product quality scores and prominently listed specials) sellers commonly utilize to minimize CO's negative consequences. Our results suggest that, while CO exists for some buyers, it can be eliminated by market interactions on the part of the seller. (JEL Classifications: C93, D03, Q13)
... These studies generally show that consumers prefer choice sets containing 8 to 15 alternatives over choice sets that contain only 2 to 6 items, which is perceived as 'too few' . Yet, if the number of choice alternatives increases beyond 15, choice sets are mostly perceived as 'too large' 1,3,12,13,15 . ...
Article
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Modern societies offer a large variety of choices, which is generally thought to be valuable. But having too much choice can be detrimental if the costs of choice outweigh its benefits due to ‘choice overload’. Current explanatory models of choice overload mainly derive from behavioural studies. A neuroscientific investigation could further inform these models by revealing the covert mental processes during decision-making. We explored choice overload using functional magnetic resonance imaging while subjects were either choosing from varying-sized choice sets or were browsing them. When choosing from sets of 6, 12 or 24 items, functional magnetic resonance imaging activity in the striatum and anterior cingulate cortex resembled an inverted U-shaped function of choice set size. Activity was highest for 12-item sets, which were perceived as having ‘the right amount’ of options and was lower for 6-item and 24-item sets, which were perceived as ‘too small’ and ‘too large’, respectively. Enhancing choice set value by adding a dominant option led to an overall increase of activity. When subjects were browsing, the decision costs were diminished and the inverted U-shaped activity patterns vanished. Activity in the striatum and anterior cingulate reflects choice set value and can serve as neural indicator of choice overload.
... Ayrıca ürün alternatiflerinin fazla sunulduğu bu kanallarda yapılan alışverişler fırsat maliyetlerden kaynaklı olarak mutsuzluk ya da tatminsizlik yaratıyor olabilir. Literatürde (Chernev, 2003;Kinjo ve Ebina, 2014;Shah ve Wolford, 2007) seçim paradoksu (the paradox of choice) olarak adlandırılan bu durumdan dolayı firmalar, ürün çeşitliliği konusunda optimal sınırlarını belirleyerek psikolojik riski azaltabilirler. Risk algılarının sanal market alışverişini negatif yönlü etkilemesinin beklendiği çalışmada, zaman riskinin pozitif yönlü etkisi beklenmeyen bir durumdur. ...
... While the range between these values are likely to induce a choice overload problem, CO is likely to be nonlinear, with 5 and 18 possibly representing the "the edges" of some inverted U-shaped functional form, and therefore, choice overload is not experienced for these sets (e.g. Shah and Wolford, 2007;Reutskaja and Hogarth, 2009). We also designed the experiment to allow for participants to consider each option for an infinite amount of time. ...
... Potential causes for information overload include complexity of information provided, number of items of information and number of alternatives, among others (see Eppler & Mengis, 2004, p. 332). Similar U-shaped patterns peaking for medium complexity tasks have been found across other dimensions, such as choice satisfaction (Reutskaja & Hogarth, 2009), purchasing intentions (Shah & Wolford, 2007), the ability to accurately assess values (Keller & Staelin, 1987), the extent of information processing (Paul & Nazareth, 2010), and overall effort allocation (Swait & Adamowicz, 2001). ...
Article
Decisions-makers often have access to a combination of descriptive and experiential information, but limited research so far has explored decisions made using both. Three experiments explore the relationship between task complexity and the influence of descriptions. We show that in simple experience-based decision-making tasks, providing congruent descriptions has little influence on task performance in comparison to experience alone without descriptions, since learning via experience is relatively easy. In more complex tasks, which are slower and more demanding to learn experientially, descriptions have stronger influence and help participants identify their preferred choices. However, when the task gets too complex to be concisely described, the influence of descriptions is reduced hence showing a non-monotonic pattern of influence of descriptions according to task complexity. We also propose a cognitive model that incorporates descriptive information into the traditional reinforcement learning framework, with the impact of descriptions moderated by task complexity. This model fits the observed behavior better than previous models and replicates the observed non-monotonic relationship between impact of descriptions and task complexity. This research has implications for the development of effective warning labels that rely on simple descriptive information to trigger safer behavior in complex environments.
... Making literature [Iyengar and Lepper 2000;Schwartz 2004;Shah and Wolford 2007] and many of the obtained insights are relevant for the design of recommender systems. A core question in that context is how many items we should present a user to choose from. ...
Article
Automated recommendations have become a ubiquitous part of today’s online user experience. These systems point us to additional items to purchase in online shops, they make suggestions to us on movies to watch, or recommend us people to connect with on social websites. In many of today’s applications, however, the only way for users to interact with the system is to inspect the recommended items. Often, no mechanisms are implemented for users to give the system feedback on the recommendations or to explicitly specify preferences, which can limit the potential overall value of the system for its users. Academic research in recommender systems is largely focused on algorithmic approaches for item selection and ranking. Nonetheless, over the years a variety of proposals were made on how to design more interactive recommenders. This work provides a comprehensive overview on the existing literature on user interaction aspects in recommender systems. We cover existing approaches for preference elicitation and result presentation, as well as proposals that consider recommendation as an interactive process. Throughout the work, we furthermore discuss examples of real-world systems and outline possible directions for future works.
... Surprisingly, 30% of the customers offered the limited selection used the coupon, while only 3% of customers offered the extensive selection condition used the coupon. Another studies of choice overload are in 401(k) plans Sethi- Iyengar, Huberman, and Jiang (2004), chocolates (Chernev, 2003b), consumer electronics (Chernev, 2003a) and pens (Shah and Wolford, 2007). For a more in depth discussion of this effect the reader is referred to Schwartz (2004). ...
Article
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We study the assortment optimization problem under the \emph{Sequential Multinomial Logit} (SML), a discrete choice model that generalizes the multinomial logit (MNL). Under the SML model, products are partitioned into two levels, to capture differences in attractiveness, brand awareness and, or visibility of the products in the market. When a consumer is presented with an assortment of products, she first considers products in the first level and, if none of them is purchased, products in the second level are considered. This model is a special case of the Perception Adjusted Luce Model (PALM) recently proposed by Echenique et al (2013). It can explain many behavioral phenomena such as the attraction, compromise, and similarity effects which cannot be explained by the MNL model or any discrete choice model based on random utility. In particular, the SML model allows violations to the \emph{regularity condition} which states that the probability of choosing a product cannot increase if the offer set is enlarged. This paper shows that the seminal concept of revenue-ordered assortment sets, which contain an optimal assortment under the MNL model, can be generalized to the SML model. More precisely, the paper proves that all optimal assortments under the SML are revenue-ordered by level, a natural generalization of revenue-ordered assortments that contains, at most, a quadratic number of assortments. As a corollary, assortment optimization under the SML is polynomial-time solvable. This result is particularly interesting given that the SML model does not satisfy the regularity condition and, therefore, it can explain choice behaviours that cannot be explained by any choice model based on random utility.
... Given the current results, we can thus conclude that the proximity effect remains effective if there are less than 10 options in a choice set. However, it is important to highlight that in relation to research on choice overload, having nine options in a choice set may still be on the lower side of the spectrum (Chernev et al., 2015;Reutskaja et al., 2018) and may in fact be about the right number of options for some consumer products (Shah and Wolford, 2007). It remains to be determined whether the effect of nudges is also unaffected by the number of options when the size of the choice set increases further beyond the nine options presented in the current studies. ...
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Nudges are defined as small adjustments in the choice architecture that stimulate desirable behavior. Nudging techniques can be used as a promising policy tool, but research has hardly systematically taken into account the complexity of the situation in which nudges have been implemented. In the current studies, we investigated the effectiveness of a proximity nudge on food choice in a realistic situation with multiple options in the immediate surroundings of the target option. In two studies, we presented participants from a community sample with an assortment of either three or nine different types of chocolate. For half of the participants, the target chocolate was placed most proximally on a table. Across two studies, we demonstrated that the proximity nudge was effective in stimulating the choice for a specific piece of chocolate in a simple and more complex situation. Results were further qualified by Bayesian analyses, which revealed most support for the hypothesis that the proximity effect existed in both the conditions with three and nine options, regardless of the number of options in the choice set. Results imply that the proximity effect can remain robust in realistic situations that include multiple options in the immediate environment to choose from.
... How to balance the needs of informed consent for a medical procedure with the sometimes conflicting imperatives of patient autonomy and high technical quality of care has been the subject of a great deal of research and debate from around the medical arena (Stanley, Walters, and Maddern 1998;O'Neill 2003;Nijhawan et al. 2013;Bester, Cole, and Kodish 2016;Brach 2019;Johansson et al. 2016;Moulton et al. 2013). Psychologists and behavioral economists, too, have explored the question of informed choice and described the "Paradox of Choice" or "overchoice" in which an overabundance of information actually constrains decision-making by paralyzing people with options (Shah and Wolford 2007;Kinjo and Ebina 2015;Ross and Cummings 2011). In the context of family planning then, many of these critics might argue that a person should not be subjected to a long counseling session filled with a lot of detailed information about the side effects of methods that do not interest them. ...
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Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, there has been increased attention to high‐quality and rights‐based family planning, but these concepts have been difficult to measure. Perhaps due to an intellectual history intertwined with population control, contemporary family planning programs and researchers often use (modern) method use as a primary marker of success, with indicators focusing narrowly on contraceptive use and fertility. This results in a fundamental misalignment between existing metrics and the stated family planning goals of promoting reproductive health and rights. This report describes the rationale for a novel family planning indicator called “contraceptive autonomy” and proposes a methodology for measuring this concept at the population level. Defining contraceptive autonomy as the factors necessary for a person to decide for themself what they want in relation to contraception and then to realize that decision, this indicator divides the contraceptive autonomy construct into subdomains of informed choice, full choice, and free choice. By acknowledging that autonomous nonuse is a positive outcome,aiming to maximize contraceptive autonomy rather than use could help shift incentives for family planning programs and reduce some common forms of contraceptive coercion, as our measurement approach is realigned with our focus on high‐quality rights‐based care.
... This latter effect is commonly referred to as "choice overload." Most papers on choice overload study choices between relatively simple goods such as jams (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000), chocolate (Chernev, 2003) or pens (Shah & Wolford, 2007). Research into more complex goods is scarce. ...
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Many countries have liberalized their residential electricity markets or are considering to do so. Liberalization provides consumers with more freedom of choice but also leads to higher choice complexity as consumers face a much larger number of different electricity contracts to choose from. We hypothesize that consumers react to this increased choice complexity in liberalized markets by applying simplified decision strategies that allow them to reduce cognitive effort. In particular, we predict that with increasing size of choice sets, consumers focus more on simple price attributes of electricity contracts and less on the relatively complex environmental attributes, leading to a decrease in the demand for green electricity. In two online experiments conducted in a representative (n = 610) and a student sample (n = 1, 212) in Switzerland, we find that indeed when faced with a larger choice set participants focus more on prices and choose cheaper electricity contracts containing less renewable and more conventional energy than when faced with a smaller choice set. In addition, we also find evidence that a tax on conventional energy is a more effective policy instrument for shifting demand towards renewables than be-havioral instruments in the form of social norm interventions. Our results suggest that a liberalization of the household electricity market has to be carefully managed such that consumers are not overwhelmed and do not shift their demand to cheaper but less environmentally-friendly energy sources.
... Furthermore, many possibilities may confuse consumers rather than offering them an additional benefit. In these cases of the overchoice-effect, consumers usually prefer to fall back on what they already are familiar with (Berger et al. 2007;Shah and Wolford 2007;Sela et al. 2009;Yan et al. 2015). This explains the positive and weak relationship between product varieties of competing NBs and the loyalty of households. ...
Chapter
The manufacturer brand industry is continuously faced with the challenge of retaining their current customers and acquiring new ones. Increasing brand loyalty can help to face these challenges and to compete in the market. In this paper, a combined behavioral approach to measure customer loyalty is presented and empirically analyzed using national brands (NBs) of chocolate bars. This innovative measurement integrates both concepts of purchase sequences and coverage of demand. The derived hypotheses are tested by a multilevel analysis using the pooled-OLS method. The negative effect of product prices of NBs on the number of loyal households is moderated by leading NBs (top 10). The higher the price of a leading NB, the lower the number of loyal households to this NB. In contrast to price, neither purchase frequency nor the number of competing NBs influence NBs loyalty of households. The positive influence of the NBs’ product variety is particularly strong compared to the other variables. Through the specific use of product variety, on the one hand, consumers with a high exploratory propensity can be bound to the NB. On the other hand, product variety can be used to attract and persuade new households to the NB.
... En segundo lugar, el control de las situaciones decisoria basadas en SE es categorizado de acuerdo con el efecto que tienen los conjuntos de opciones (reducidos o extensos) en diversas medidas dependientes. En particular, se han investigado los siguientes comportamientos: (1) el aplazamiento de la elección -la tendencia a posponerla , o bien a escoger no realizarla- (Shah y Wolford, 2007;Townsend y Kahn, 2014); (2) cambiar de elección -la tendencia a cambiar a una opción alternativa- (Chernev, 2003a); (3) escoger una distribución de los conjuntos -la tendencia a preferir un conjunto de opciones reducido o extenso- (Chernev, 2006;Chernev y Hamilton, 2009); y, (4) la selección de la opción -el hecho de que el sujeto escoja, efectivamente, una alternativa- (Gourville y Soman, 2005;Sela et al., 2009). ...
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Este artículo presenta un análisis de correlaciones entre los indicadores observables de la aversión al riesgo y la sobrecarga en la elección, en una muestra conformada por 120 estudiantes universitarios. Los resultados indican diversas correlaciones en el indicador tiempo, y diferencias significativas por género. El tiempo, al ser interpretado de manera aislada en investigaciones antecedentes, sustentaba explicaciones unidireccionales que tomaban al decisor como causa de las decisiones, en algunos casos, y al entorno, en otros. Se presentan dos niveles de análisis: (1) análisis de lo visible, que incluye consideraciones relacionadas directamente con los indicadores observables medidos y sus resultados, y (2) análisis de lo no visible, donde se establecen preguntas por el nivel de trascendencia del dato visible, se esboza el entendimiento de las situaciones decisorias como sistemas complejos de información sujetos al cambio y se discute la tendencia a explicar unidireccionalmente las causas del comportamiento en determinadas situaciones decisorias o contextos.
... Recent experiments have noted that choice models may be best characterized by an inverted U-shape, such that motivation (for instance, to buy a product) initially increases as the number of options increases (Grant & Schwartz, 2011;Reutskaja et al., 2018;Shah & Wolford, 2007) but that too many choices can lead to a decrease in motivation to make a decision (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000). Indeed, previous work demonstrates that bene ts gained from increasing numbers of aid-seekers eventually asymptotes or even drops off completely (Sharps & Schroeder, 2019;Slovic, 2007;Soyer & Hogarth, 2011), perhaps due to donors' understanding of diminishing marginal aid to each additional victim (Andreoni, 2007). ...
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Amid a sea of requests for aid, what factors affect decisions to donate? Researchers and practitioners continue to debate whether we ought to prioritize leveraging passion (e.g., appeal to people’s empathy) or reason (e.g., appeal to utilitarian drives). Here we circumvent the challenges of emotions and obligation as levers by investigating the efficacy of a novel manipulation of choice architecture to affect giving: increasing the number of action options available to donors to increase how much they give. Across six experiments (N = 6,321), participants responded to single or multiple-bid donation requests. Viewing multiple bids for aid increased both intention to donate and actual donation (controlling for affective states that have been previously associated with costly helping). Notably, increasing the number of bids did not decrease the proportion of people who donated at all. We rule out previously-documented heuristics (i.e., 1/n, fairness) and agency as explanations for our effect, and find positive evidence for the role of merely increasing action options (i.e., bids). Finally, we replicate our effect in a natural experiment of charitable donations (N = 10,000): presenting donors with multiple bids increased the average donation by $8.77 (a 19.7% increase). Our findings have theoretical implications for invigorating behavior and offer practical suggestions for how charitable organizations can better engineer solicitations for aid.
... Also allow time to let the patients buy into therapy, increasing their confidence and gaining commitment. Lastly, give a reasonable number of mask options to avoid choice fatigue (59). All patients should have a trial with pressurized air for proper mask fit. ...
Article
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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) remains the major treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The American Thoracic Society organized a workshop to discuss the importance of mask selection for OSA treatment with CPAP. In this workshop report, we summarize available evidence about the breathing route during nasal and oronasal CPAP and the importance of nasal symptoms for CPAP outcomes. We explore the mechanisms of air leaks during CPAP treatment and possible alternatives for leak control. The impact of nasal and oronasal CPAP on adherence, residual apnea-hypopnea index, unintentional leaks, and pressure requirements are also compared. Finally, recommendations for patient and partner involvement in mask selection are presented, and future directions to promote personalized mask selection are discussed.
... Several variables--such as information usage, decision accuracy, motivation to choose, and satisfaction with choice are "inverted-U" functions of the amount of information and the number of choice alternatives available. In other words, choosing from sets of an intermediate size usually brings more net benefits to the decision-maker than choosing from large or small choice sets (Grant & Schwartz, 2011;Reutskaja & Hogarth, 2009;Shah & Wolford, 2007). Indeed, in line with the assumptions of bounded rationality, intermediate sizes are preferable when they do not entail the same high, cognitively unmanageable load that large sets do, and simultaneously possess the benefits of variety that small sets lack. ...
Book
Previous research has shown that neither too much nor too little choice is optimal. Choice sets of an intermediate size offer more positive cognitive and emotional consequences to the decision maker than small and large choice sets. However, the ideal number of choices depends on many factors. This chapter describes the main factors that moderate the effect of choice overload and so determine how much choice is enough. Consistent with Herbert A. Simon’s analogy of a pair of scissors to describe his conception of bounded rationality, where one blade represents the individual cognitive characteristics of the decision maker and the other the structures of the environment, this chapter presents these factors, regrouping them into two main categories: contextual and individual variables.
... Similarly, presenting a service or product as part of two options can increase its perceived value (Szrek & Baron, 2007). However, Shah and Wolford (2007) suggest an inverse U-shaped curve between selection behaviour and choice set size in which choice has a positive or negative effect depending on the number of options. More choice can complicate the decision-making process by causing confusion and inceasing perceived difficulty. ...
Article
Objectives: An invitation to cancer screening with a single (fixed) appointment time has been shown to be a more effective way at increasing uptake compared with an invitation with an open (unscheduled) appointment. The present study tested whether offering more than one fixed appointment could further enhance this effect or be detrimental to people's intention. Design: Experimental online hypothetical vignette survey. Methods: 1,908 respondents who stated that they did not intend to participate in Bowel Scope Screening (BSS) were offered either one, two, four or six hypothetical fixed BSS appointments (all of which covered the same time of day to control for individual preferences). Results: Participants who were given more than one appointment to choose from were less likely to intend to book an appointment despite multiple appointments being perceived as more convenient. Conclusions: These results suggest that when it comes to offering people appointments for cancer screening, less (choice) is more, at least if alternatives fail to serve an inherent preference.
... Recent neurological evidence (Reutskaja et al., 2018) seems to confirm that the subjective value of a set falls in the number of options, once the latter exceeds some threshold. The second negative empirical effect of overchoice is of individual decision-avoidance or deferral (Bertrand et al., 2010;Beshears et al., 2013;Boatwright & Nunes, 2001;Dean et al., 2017;Iyengar & Lepper, 2000;Shah & Wolford, 2007;Shin & Ariely, 2004;Tversky & Shafir, 1992;): when individuals face choice sets that are too large, they often put off the task of making a choice entirely. 1 The aim of this paper is to contribute to the literature on choice overload by investigating whether large sets of options may affect individuals' revealed preferences over options and, in particular, whether individuals are more likely to prefer certain types of options over others. ...
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Whereas the literature on choice overload has shown that people tend to defer their choice or experience less satisfaction under choice proliferation, this paper aims to test how the profusion of choice directly affects individuals’ revealed preferences over options. To do so, we run an experiment where subjects have to compare familiar (i.e., easy, salient and relatively safe) and unfamiliar options under different choice contexts (Large or Small choice sets). We hypothesize that, as the choice set expands, the decisions become harder and more costly and subjects may find familiar items relatively more attractive. Our results provide clear evidence of set size dependence of revealed preferences: Subjects prefer familiar items more frequently in larger choice sets. This evidence is robust to a number of experimental variations and statistical controls.
Article
This paper examines (a) whether people are less accurate in judging choice time as choice tasks involve more choice options, more choice information, or a combination of both and (b) whether people with a higher tendency to look for the best option in choice making (maximizers) have less accurate duration judgments of choice time as compared to people who are more easily settling for a choice outcome that is satisfactory (satisficers). A multilevel analysis is used to explore the relationships of interest using data collected through a series of choice tasks. In general, the results suggest that people seem to misjudge time durations when making choices. Moreover, empirical evidence demonstrates that people with an outspoken tendency to maximize in choice making do not differ significantly in estimating choice time accurately as compared to people who experience almost no need to maximize.
Article
The number of alternatives for consumers in almost all purchase situations is increasing at an extremely rapid pace. Although more choices may have many benefits to the consumers, recent studies on choice overload have found that choosing from large alternatives may lead to negative consequences. Majority of the choice overload research has compared only two groups of small versus large assortment size. In extant literature, there is no clarity as to what are small and large assortment sizes. Assortment size used as small in one study has been used as large in some other studies. Small assortment size varied from 2 to 60 choices and large assortment size from 3 to 300 choices in past studies, and the presence of choice overload has been reported at completely different levels of assortment sizes. This study has used an array of six choice sets from 6 to 36 options as compared to just two groups of small versus large assortment. Switching likelihood of consumers was used to capture the choice overload effect in this study. The probability of consumers switching their earlier choice was plotted as a function of number of options using binary logistic regression. Results showed that probability of switching was almost a linearly increasing function of assortment size from 6 to 36 options. The graph of predicted probabilities from 2 to 300 options showed a sharp increase in switching behaviour initially and subsequent flattening of the curve when options became very large.
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In diesem Forschungsbericht wird erstmals eine Kombination des Kaufreihenfolge- mit dem Marktanteilskonzept zur Messung der Markentreue vorgestellt. Damit beinhaltet diese Arbeit einen kombinierten behavioristischen Ansatz zur Messung der Treue von Haushalten gegenüber Marken. Dieser Ansatz wird anhand von literaturbasierten Hypothesen fundiert und mit Hilfe von Haushaltspaneldaten über zehn Jahre empirisch überprüft. Im Rahmen dieser Untersuchung wird am Beispiel von Tafelschokolade insbesondere der Fragestellung nachgegangen, ob die Produktdifferenzierung für Herstellermarken dazu geeignet ist, die Anzahl treuer Haushalte zu erhöhen. Darüber hinaus werden mit dem durchschnittlichen Preis, der Moderation durch marktführende Marken, der Einkaufshäufigkeit, den konkurrierenden Produktvarianten sowie den eigenen Produktvarianten weitere Einflussfaktoren analysiert.
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between a firm’s strategy and consumers’ decisions in the presence of the paradox of choice and sharing personal information. The paradox of choice implies that having too many choices does not necessarily ensure happiness and sometimes having less is more. A new model is constructed introducing a factor of information sharing into the model of a previous study that embedded the paradox of choice only (Kinjo and Ebina in AI Soc 30(2):291–297, 2015). A key feature of the model is its disutility function. It is demonstrated that if the sign of the cross derivative of the function is positive (negative) at the optimum, there is a positive (negative) correlation between the degree of sharing personal information chosen by the consumers and the number of products offered by the firm in its recommendation systems. It is also numerically indicated that the profit function of the firm becomes convex or concave depending on the shape of the disutility function. These results suggest that firms should carefully investigate the shape of the disutility function, under the paradox of choice and sharing personal information.
Article
Objective Implementing treat-to-target (TTT) strategies requires that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and their rheumatologists decide on how best to escalate care when indicated. The objective of this study was to develop preference phenotypes to facilitate shared decision-making at the point of care for patients failing methotrexate monotherapy. Methods We developed a conjoint analysis survey to measure the preferences of patient with RA for triple therapy, biologics and Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. The survey included seven attributes: administration, onset, bothersome side effects, serious infection, very rare side effects, amount of information and cost. Each choice set (n=12) included three hypothetical profiles. Preference phenotypes were identified by applying latent class analysis to the conjoint data. Results 1273 participants completed the survey. A five-group solution was chosen based on progressively lower values of the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria. Members of the largest group (group 3: 38.4%) were most strongly impacted by the cost of the medication. The next largest group (group 1: 25.8%) was most strongly influenced by the risk of bothersome side effects. Members of group 2 (11.2%) were also risk averse, but were most concerned with the risk of very rare side effects. Group 4 (6.6%) strongly preferred oral over parenteral medications. Members of group 5 (18.0%) were most strongly and equally influenced by onset of action and the risk of serious infections. Conclusions Treatment preferences of patients with RA can be measured and represented by distinct phenotypes. Our results underscore the variability in patients’ values and the importance of using a shared decision-making approach to implement TTT.
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Nowadays, analyzing user behavior on search engines is highly regarded. Lots of options in retrieved results in the search engines makes users to choose. Once the selection is extremely complex, people will think the simplest decision rule: not to decide and select. Psychologists know this situation the consequence of "choice overload". This study has been done with the goal to identify modulators of Google search engine. The present study is a survey and an applied research. Using stratified random non-relativistic sampling, 72 MS and PhD students of faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and Engineering of Ferdowsi University were selected as a sample. The tools used for collecting data were standard questionnaire and HCI browser. The results showed that regardless of the personality types (maximizer and satisfier) and only by regarding the type of search, you cannot say a definitive statement about choice overload theory. Considering two variables of personality and search type, a significant difference between satisfactions of two types personality from the number of retrieved results were observed. This means that maximizers are, in both special and general search, more satisfied from small number of results than large number of results (choice overload). But in special search, the number of retrieved results had no effect on the satisfaction of satisfiers (the nonoccurrence of choice overload). Also in satisfiers, in general search results, there was a significant difference between satisfaction from the small and large number of retrieved results. However, according to their personality and serendipity theory, with increasing the retrieved results, not only choice overload did not occur, but satisfaction of them was more. Hence we can understand the importance of two factors: The type of search and personality as modulators of choice overload. In general both personality types were satisfied with the speed of retrieval of results in Google search engine. © 2018 Iranian Research Institute for Scientific Information and Documentation. All Rights Reserved.
Article
Are there too many options in online shopping? Although extant studies have largely focused on the effects of choice overload, few shed light on choice overload in online shopping situations. In light of online shopping’s untouchable nature and sorting mechanisms, we argue that choice overload in online shopping is associated with consumer vigilance and assortment desirability. Across four experiments, we found that the size of the online choice set significantly influences consumers’ choice difficulty and choice deferral. We also discovered that consumer vigilance and assortment desirability moderate these relationships. Specifically, high vigilance increases the negative impact of assortment size on consumer decision, whereas assortment product desirability alleviates this consequence. We contribute to the literature by extending prior predictions of choice overload and proposing a framework involving choice overload, vigilance, and desirability for future research.
Article
Purpose Research on choice overload with adult participants has shown that the presence of a brand significantly mitigates the phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether these findings can be expanded to a population of adolescents, where it has already been shown that choice overload occurs in a similar way as adults. Design/methodology/approach Studies 1 and 2 aim to test whether the presence of a brand name mitigates the adverse consequences of choice overload in adolescents. In line with prior research on choice overload, in both studies, the authors compared between-subjects differences in the levels of reported dissatisfaction, difficulty and regret in a choice condition where adolescents chose among either 6 or 24 options associated with brand names and in another choice condition where adolescents chose among the same 6 or 24 options but not associated with brand names. Findings This paper presents evidence from two studies that when facing either a large or a small amount of choice options that are associated with brand names, choice overload disappears among adolescents. Conversely, when no brands are associated to the choice options, adolescents report choice overload, that is a greater dissatisfaction, difficulties and regret with larger (versus smaller) assortments. Practical implications Prior research on choice overload has led to recommendations that marketers and other choice architects should simply reduce choice options or assortments to improve consumers’ satisfaction. However, our finding suggests that this recommendation may be invalidated when brands are present, at least for certain age groups. Adolescents cope indeed very well with large assortments of branded products. Originality/value The research adds to the existing understanding of choice overload, demonstrating that the brand is a moderator of the phenomenon for adolescents, who currently represent a large portion of the market. A second important contribution of this work is that it extends prior research on choice overload to real-world consumer scenarios, where consumers choose among products with a brand, rather than among products described only by technical characteristics or nutritional values, as in classical studies on choice overload.
Article
L'effetto del sovraccarico di scelta è stato finora studiato prevalentemente su adulti. L'unico studio condotto su fasce di età diverse dagli adulti ha fornito una prima dimostrazione del fatto che le conseguenze negative dell'avere troppa scelta non si estendono in egual misura a bambini, adolescenti, adulti e anziani. Il presente lavoro si propone di indagare ulteriormente le conseguenze negati-ve dell'avere troppa scelta su bambini, adolescenti e anziani. I dati suggeriscono che mentre gli adolescenti sono influenzati dal fenomeno in modo simile agli adulti, i bambini e gli anziani sembrano invece esserne immuni. Sono discusse le implicazioni teoriche e pratiche dei risultati e sono forniti spunti per ulteriori ricerche.
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Aristotle proposed that to achieve happiness and success, people should cultivate virtues at mean or intermediate levels between deficiencies and excesses. In stark contrast to this assertion that virtues have costs at high levels, a wealth of psychological research has focused on demonstrating the well-being and performance benefits of positive traits, states, and experiences. This focus has obscured the prevalence and importance of nonmonotonic inverted-U-shaped effects, whereby positive phenomena reach inflection points at which their effects turn negative. We trace the evidence for nonmonotonic effects in psychology and provide recommendations for conceptual and empirical progress. We conclude that for psychology in general and positive psychology in particular, Aristotle’s idea of the mean may serve as a useful guide for developing both a descriptive and a prescriptive account of happiness and success.
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to analyze the most relevant factors affecting retailers by investigating the relationships between store type, assortment level, customers' purchases, and sales productivity. Analyzing the dataset of the German retailer Rossmann through classification and regression tools, this work investigates what store type customers visit more often, what kind of assortment they prefer, and how sales profitability is affected by internal and external factors. Results show a tendency from customers to shop in smaller neighborhood markets rather than in the large shopping centers with extensive assortments, determining an increase in sales productivity in smaller size stores. Results suggest managers developing strategies for creating multiple retail formats in order to meet the diverse customers' tendencies in the today's market.
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Current research on choice overload has been mainly conducted with choice options not associated with specific brands. This study investigates whether the presence of brand names in the choice set affects the occurrence of choice overload. Across four studies, we find that when choosing among an overabundance of alternatives, participants express more positive feelings (i.e., higher satisfaction/confidence, lower regret and difficulty) when all the options of the choice set are associated with familiar brands, rather than unfamiliar brands or no brand at all. We also find that choice overload only appears in the absence of brand names, but disappears when all options contain brand names—either familiar or unfamiliar. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Article
This study investigates broad versus specific levels of perceived variety seeking when choosing a vacation destination. In general, consumers use two criteria to evaluate where to vacation: the novelty of the destination relative to their current place and the potential variety of activities offered. Consumers’ perception about these criteria is regulated at a broad level through spatial distance information, and at a specific level through activity information. Findings from experiments indicate that people prefer taking vacations to distant (vs. close) places. However, when both types of vacation information are available, people prefer a destination with more activities regardless of spatial distance. Process evidence suggests that analytic (vs. holistic) information processing and variety seeking at a specific (vs. broad) level drive the findings.
Chapter
This paper offers an initial investigation into how the number of choices available to individual agents may influence choice at the group level by formalizing and simulating a social version of the No Alternatives Argument (NAA). The Social NAA assumption predicts that strength of belief in the most strongly held hypothesis in a group of agents will increase when the number of available hypotheses decreases. Social network simulations using connected Bayesian networks show that this assumption can be violated, but infrequently. Implications of the Social NAA assumption and when it holds in social networks are discussed, and future work is outlined.
Article
This study examines how the number of choices offered on a website influences consumers' internal states (affective and cognitive responses) and their approach/avoidance behavior during online apparel shopping. Focus-group and questionnaire data collection methods with a 3 (number of choices) by 3 (presentation formats) factorial experimental design were employed. The theoretical frameworks, “choice overload” and “online store atmospherics and shopper response,” were applied. A total of 382 usable responses were collected. Although the interaction proposed in the study was not statistically significant, the findings of the study show that the effect of choice overload may not only influence the in-task generated responses but also have a deeper and long-lasting impact on the online consumer behavior. The respondents react to the large choice set on the basis of feelings and emotions (affective responses), and these responses ultimately lead to a subsequent attitude and approach behavior.
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Are potential contributors more likely to support a prosocial cause when presented with few contribution options or with many options? Across four studies—an analysis of archival contribution data from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, a field experiment conducted in cooperation with a grocery store and a snack bar company, and two controlled laboratory experiments—we consistently find that when a fundraiser offers more options to potential contributors, the likelihood of contribution initially decreases and then increases. The result is a U-shaped relationship between the number of contribution options and contribution likelihood. We do not find such an effect for non-prosocial choices. With a fifth study, we offer a preliminary and tentative theoretical explanation for the U-shaped relationship, suggesting that the type of information processing by the decision maker (intuitive rather than deliberate) underlies this effect.
Chapter
Der Entscheidungsprozess des modernen Kunden – egal ob B2C oder B2B – ist viel komplexer als in den Zeiten vor der digitalen Welt. Er ist nicht linear und lässt sich schwer vorhersagen, denn er ist jedes Mal anders. Jedoch gibt es bestimmte Tätigkeiten, Aktivitäten und Fragestellungen, die jeden Kunden auf seinem Weg zur Entscheidung begleiten und die sich auf sechs Ebenen des DECIDE-Entscheidungsprozesses zusammenfassen lassen: Discover, Explore, Consider, Interact, Determine, Execute. Der Weg der Entscheidung ist anders als der Weg des Kaufs. Er wird zunehmend komplexer, erfordert mehr unterschiedliche Aktivitäten und involviert mehr Personen, was dazu führt, dass sich Beschaffungsprozesse im B2B-Bereich massiv verändern. Nicht der Verkaufsakt, sondern die Entscheidung des Kunden steht im Vordergrund. Infolgedessen muss der Vertrieb diese Veränderungen und auch den individuellen Entscheidungsprozess seiner Kunden verstehen, um sie in digitalen Zeiten erreichen zu können.
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The wide range of 401(k) plans offered to employees has raised the question of whether there is such as thing as too much choice. The 401(k) participation rates among clients of the Vanguard Group were studied to verify the assumption that more choice is more desirable and intrinsically motivating. It was found that 401(k) plans that offered more funds had lower probability of employee participation. © Pension Research Council, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2004. All rights reserved.
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Providing attribute information about alternatives can both help and hinder consumers evaluate products. We separate attribute information into two components: information quality and information quantity. We hypothesize, all else being equal, that the former component improves decision effectiveness while the latter component decreases decision effectiveness. The results of an experimental investigation designed to estimate the marginal effects of these factors were compatible with these premises. In addition, evaluations were also found to suffer in situations where high levels of information quality were made available. Insights into these and other observed effects are suggested after exploring the process by which subjects used the available information.
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Current psychological theory and research affirm the positive affective and motivational consequences of having personal choice. These findings have led to the popular notion that the more choice, the better-that the human ability to manage, and the human desire for, choice is unlimited. Findings from 3 experimental studies starkly challenge this implicit assumption that having more choices is necessarily more intrinsically motivating than having fewer. These experiments, which were conducted in both field and laboratory settings, show that people are more likely to purchase gourmet jams or chocolates or to undertake optional class essay assignments when offered a limited array of 6 choices rather than a more extensive array of 24 or 30 choices. Moreover, participants actually reported greater subsequent satisfaction with their selections and wrote better essays when their original set of options had been limited. Implications for future research are discussed.
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Expanding upon Simon's (1955) seminal theory, this investigation compared the choice-making strategies of maximizers and satisficers, finding that maximizing tendencies, although positively correlated with objectively better decision outcomes, are also associated with more negative subjective evaluations of these decision outcomes. Specifically, in the fall of their final year in school, students were administered a scale that measured maximizing tendencies and were then followed over the course of the year as they searched for jobs. Students with high maximizing tendencies secured jobs with 20% higher starting salaries than did students with low maximizing tendencies. However, maximizers were less satisfied than satisficers with the jobs they obtained, and experienced more negative affect throughout the job-search process. These effects were mediated by maximizers' greater reliance on external sources of information and their fixation on realized and unrealized options during the search and selection process.
Inside influence report: Is your company offering too much? When more is less How much choice is too much?: Contributions to 401(k) retirement plans
  • N Goldstein
Goldstein, N. (2001). Inside influence report: Is your company offering too much? When more is less. In C. Cibbarelli & B. Gordon (Eds.), Influence at work. Retrieved July 18, 2005, from www.insideinfluence.com/year03/08/MoreisLess/ Iyengar, S.S., Jiang, W., & Huberman, G. (2004). How much choice is too much?: Contributions to 401(k) retirement plans. In O.S.
Inside influence report: Is your company offering too much? When more is less Influence at work. Retrieved How much choice is too much?: Contributions to 401(k) retirement plans
  • N Goldstein
  • S S Iyengar
  • W Jiang
  • G Huberman
Goldstein, N. (2001). Inside influence report: Is your company offering too much? When more is less. In C. Cibbarelli & B. Gordon (Eds.), Influence at work. Retrieved July 18, 2005, from www.insideinfluence.com/year03/08/MoreisLess/ Iyengar, S.S., Jiang, W., & Huberman, G. (2004). How much choice is too much?: Contributions to 401(k) retirement plans. In O.S. Mitchell & S. Utkus (Eds.), Pension design and structure: New lessons from behavioral finance (pp. 83–95). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
1. Proportion of subjects who bought any pens as a function of the number of choices available
  • Fig
Fig. 1. Proportion of subjects who bought any pens as a function of the number of choices available.
Inside influence report: Is your company offering too much? When more is less
  • N Goldstein
Goldstein, N. (2001). Inside influence report: Is your company offering too much? When more is less. In C. Cibbarelli & B. Gordon (Eds.), Influence at work. Retrieved July 18, 2005, from www.insideinfluence.com/year03/08/MoreisLess/