Study: Many options equal extreme choices

November 14, 2005

Scientists in Canada and China are studying "range effect," to better understand what consumers do when faced with a range of price and quality options. Specifically, the authors found offering a wide range of options causes consumers to gravitate toward extreme choices because it is easier for them to discern difference.

"When two attributes have different levels of evaluability, extending the range of the background set would shift preferences towards the option that has a greater quantity of the high evaluability attribute," write Catherine Yeung of the University of Singapore and Dilip Soman of the University of Toronto.

But they say "range effect" occurs at the expense of mid-priced products, particularly at stores where quality ranges from moderately good to moderately very good.

"We show that widening the range of encountered options increases the choice of the cheaper option relative to the more expensive option," write the authors.

The study is detailed in the in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Pandora rolls out Sponsored Listening for all brands

Related Stories

Eddystone: Cross-platform beacon format gets Google launch

July 15, 2015

Google is introducing the Eddystone beacon format. On Tuesday Google launched a beacon technology called Eddystone along with APIs. Together, they will make it easier for devices in close proximity to communicate. Numerous ...

Flexible engineering design for infrastructure projects

July 21, 2015

For nearly 50 years, Richard de Neufville has been working on ways to plan, analyze and design complex engineering systems. A civil engineer by background, de Neufville's latest research focuses on a major paradigm shift ...

Recommended for you

Volcanic bacteria take minimalist approach to survival

August 4, 2015

New research by scientists at the University of Otago and GNS Science is helping to solve the puzzle of how bacteria are able to live in nutrient-starved environments. It is well-established that the majority of bacteria ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.