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Designing a Sequential Choice Architecture to Reduce Choice Overload

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Author Info

  • Tibor Besedes

    (Georgia Institute of Technology)

  • Cary Deck

    (University of Arkansas)

  • Sudipta Sarangi

    (Louisiana State University and DIW Berlin)

  • Mikhael Shor

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that a multitude of options can lead to choice overload, reducing decision quality. Through controlled experiments, we examine sequential choice architectures that enable the choice set to remain large while potentially reducing the effect of choice overload. A specific tournament-style architecture achieves this goal. An alternate architecture in which subjects compare each subset of options to the most preferred option encountered thus far fails to improve performance due to the status quo bias. Subject preferences over different choice architectures are negatively correlated with performance, suggesting that providing choice over architectures might reduce the quality of decisions. JEL Classification: C91, D03 Key words: choice architecture, choice overload, status quo bias, self-sorting, decision making, experiments

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2012-24.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2012-24

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  1. Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
  2. Tibor Besedes & Cary Deck & Sudipta Sarangi & Mikhael Shor, 2010. "Age Effects and Heuristics in Decision Making," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1047, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2011. "How individuals choose health insurance: An experimental analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 799-819, August.
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