Inherent Rule Variability in Consumer Choice: Changing Rules for Change's Sake
The present research demonstrates that consumers tend to vary their use of decision rules independent of option and set characteristics. In five experiments, increased choice of a particular option (e.g., lower price, brand name, or compromise option) was associated with relatively decreased choice of that same (generic) option on occasions that followed. Results indicate that this inherent rule variability is not an effect of background contrast but instead relates to consumers' favorable valuation of decision change itself. This research implies that the idea of contingent decision making applies not only to decision outcomes but also to decision processes. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.
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