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The Dual Nature of Choice: When Consumers Prefer Less to More

  • Norwood, F. Bailey
  • Lusk, Jayson L.

Economists typically assume that more choice is better, and consumers are more likely to purchase from a larger choice set. However, marketing and psychological studies show this is not always the case. This paper reports results from experiments designed to further investigate the so-called excessive-choice effect. First, we investigate whether people would voluntarily reduce their choice set size. Second, we investigate whether the excessive-choice effect, found in previous studies, is robust to changes in experimental design. Third, we explore how personality influences preferences for choice set size. Results show that the excessive-choice effect indeed exists for some people, but on average people prefer greater choice.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/34850
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Paper provided by Southern Agricultural Economics Association in its series 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama with number 34850.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ags:saeasm:34850
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.saea.org/

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