Study: Many options equal extreme choices

Nov 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: Public boarding school—the way to solve educational ills?

Related Stories

Hawaii telescope website taken down in apparent cyberattack

35 minutes ago

An apparent cyberattack Sunday temporarily disrupted the main website of Thirty Meter Telescope, the organization trying to construct one of the world's largest telescopes near the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island.

Capgemini to buy IGATE in $4 billion US expansion push

36 minutes ago

French IT services and consulting company Capgemini said Monday it was buying New Jersey-based IGATE for $4 billion (3.7 billion euros), boosting its US-generated business to 30 percent of its total activity.

Upside down and inside out

42 minutes ago

Researchers have captured the first 3D video of a living algal embryo turning itself inside out, from a sphere to a mushroom shape and back again. The results could help unravel the mechanical processes at ...

Recommended for you

Bizarre 'platypus' dinosaur discovered

2 hours ago

Although closely related to the notorious carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex, a new lineage of dinosaur discovered in Chile is proving to be an evolutionary jigsaw puzzle, as it preferred to graze upon plants.

Is the universe a hologram?

2 hours ago

Describing the universe requires fewer dimensions than we might think. New calculations show that this may not just be a mathematical trick, but a fundamental feature of space itself.

Why be creative on social media?

5 hours ago

There are five motivators for creating novel content online, whether blog posts, shared news stories, images, photos, songs, videos or any of the other digital artifacts users of social media and social networking sites share ...

User comments : 0

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.