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Choosing Less-Preferred Experiences for the Sake of Variety

  • Ratner, Rebecca K
  • Kahn, Barbara E
  • Kahneman, Daniel

Data from several experiments show that, contrary to traditional models of variety seeking, individuals choose to switch to less-preferred options even though they enjoy those items less than they would have enjoyed repeating a more-preferred option. Two explanations for this finding are tested. Results indicate no evidence of a benefit to more-preferred options due to the contrast to less-preferred alternatives. However, the results of three studies suggest that retrospective global evaluations favor varied sequences that also include less-preferred items as opposed to sequences that only include more-preferred items, even though these more varied sequences result in diminished enjoyment during consumption. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

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

Volume (Year): 26 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-15

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:26:y:1999:i:1:p:1-15
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