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The Mere Categorization Effect: How the Presence of Categories Increases Choosers' Perceptions of Assortment Variety and Outcome Satisfaction

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  • Cassie Mogilner
  • Tamar Rudnick
  • Sheena S. Iyengar
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    Abstract

    What is the effect of option categorization on choosers' satisfaction? A combination of field and laboratory experiments reveals that the mere presence of categories, irrespective of their content, positively influences the satisfaction of choosers who are unfamiliar with the choice domain. This "mere categorization effect" is driven by a greater number of categories signaling greater variety among the available options, which allows for a sense of self-determination from choosing. This effect, however, is attenuated for choosers who are familiar with the choice domain, who do not rely on the presence of categories to perceive the variety available. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (06)
    Pages: 202-215

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:35:y:2008:i:2:p:202-215

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

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    Cited by:
    1. Langner, Tobias & Krengel, Martin, 2013. "The mere categorization effect for complex products: The moderating role of expertise and affect," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 924-932.
    2. 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.
    3. LeBoeuf, Robyn A. & Shafir, Eldar & Bayuk, Julia Belyavsky, 2010. "The conflicting choices of alternating selves," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 48-61, January.

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