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The Impact of Context on Variety Seeking in Product Choices

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  • Menon, Satya
  • Kahn, Barbara E
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    Abstract

    One reason consumers seek variety in product choices is to satisfy a need for stimulation. It is suggested that consumers may try to achieve an optimal level of stimulation by balancing the stimulation sought from product choice with the stimulation available from the choice context. Two laboratory experiments are conducted that show that causing changes in the choice context (thus increasing stimulation) decreases the amount of variety seeking subjects exhibit in product choices. Specifically, the results of the experiments suggest that consumers' needs for stimulation may be met by providing variety in a different product category or in other aspects of the choice context. A limiting condition to this finding is also examined. If positive affect is induced along with stimulation, then the reduction in variety-seeking behavior is mitigated. Copyright 1995 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 22 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 285-95

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:22:y:1995:i:3:p:285-95

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Elen, Maarten & D'Heer, Evelien & Geuens, Maggie & Vermeir, Iris, 2013. "The influence of mood on attitude–behavior consistency," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 917-923.
    2. Herpen, H.W.I. van & Pieters, R., 2000. "Assortment Variety: Attribute versus Product-Based," Discussion Paper 2000-58, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Wu, Pei-Hsun & Kao, Danny Tengti, 2011. "Goal orientation and variety seeking behavior: The role of decision task," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 65-72, February.
    4. Desai, Kalpesh Kaushik & Trivedi, Minakshi, 2014. "Do consumer perceptions matter in measuring choice variety and variety seeking?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 2786-2792.
    5. Punj, Girish, 2011. "Impulse buying and variety seeking: Similarities and differences," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 745-748, July.
    6. Meixner, Oliver & Knoll, Viktoria, 2012. "Sustainable Products and Consumers’ Brand Choice," 2012 International European Forum, February 13-17, 2012, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 144976, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    7. Yin-Hui Cheng & Shin-Shin Chang & Shih-Chieh Chuang & Ming-Wei Yu, 2012. "The impact of purchase quantity on the compromise effect: The balance heuristic," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(4), pages 499-512, July.
    8. Rohm, Andrew J. & Swaminathan, Vanitha, 2004. "A typology of online shoppers based on shopping motivations," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 748-757, July.
    9. Ribeiro, Ricardo, 2010. "Consumer demand for variety: intertemporal effects of consumption, product switching and pricing policies," MPRA Paper 25812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Dellaert, B.G.C. & Kahn, B., 1998. "How Tolerable is Delay? Consumers' Evaluations of Internet Web Sites After Waiting," Discussion Paper 1998-64, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Lanzi, Diego, 2011. "Frames as choice superstructures," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 115-123, April.
    12. Nanarpuzha, Rajesh, . "Modeling Situational Factors in Variety Seeking Behaviour: An Extension of the Lightning Bolt Model," IIMA Working Papers WP2013-12-04, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    13. Harper Roehm & Michelle Roehm, 2004. "Variety-Seeking and Time of Day: Why Leader Brands Hope Young Adults Shop in the Afternoon, but Follower Brands Hope for Morning," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 213-221, December.

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