Decision Focus and Consumer Choice among Assortments
This research examines an empirical paradox documented by prior research: when choosing among assortments, consumers opt for the variety offered by larger assortments; however, consumers often are less confident in choices made from larger rather than from smaller assortments. By implying that consumers cannot always accurately predict their need for variety, this preference inconsistency also raises the question of what factors influence consumers' tendency to overestimate their need for the flexibility offered by larger assortments. Building on the view of choice as a hierarchical decision process, this research posits that choice among assortments is a function of consumers' decision focus and, in particular, the degree to which the subsequent task of making a choice from the selected assortment is salient to consumers. The data from four experiments offer converging evidence for the moderating role of decision focus on choice among assortments. (c) 2006 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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