Variety, Vice, and Virtue: How Assortment Size Influences Option Choice
Assortment size has been shown to influence whether consumers make a choice, but could it also influence what they choose? Five studies demonstrate that because choosing from larger assortments is often more difficult, it leads people to select options that are easier to justify. Virtues and utilitarian necessities are generally easier to justify than indulgences; consequently, choosing from larger assortments often shifts choice from vices to virtues and from hedonic to utilitarian options. These effects reverse, however, when situational factors provide accessible reasons to indulge, underscoring the role of justification. Implications for choice difficulty and justification processes are discussed. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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