The Impact of Context on Variety Seeking in Product Choices
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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