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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Norwood, F. Bailey & Lusk, Jayson L., 2007. "The Dual Nature of Choice: When Consumers Prefer Less to More," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34850, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:saeasm:34850

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    Cited by:

    1. Barbara K├Âttl & Juliane Dittrich & Jaroslav Dokoupil & Alena Matuskova & Jutta Roosen, 2009. "Verbraucherschutz im Grenzgebiet: eine Befragung deutscher und tschechischer Konsumenten," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(3), pages 160-174.

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    Consumer/Household Economics;


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