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: Rare early shakespeare compilation found in small French library

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research helps raise awareness of human trafficking

3 hours ago

Human trafficking –– or the control, ownership and sale of another human being for monetary gain –– was a common occurrence centuries ago, but many believe it doesn't exist in this day and age and not in this country.

Simulation predicts epidermal responses to compounds

Nov 18, 2014

Skin is the body's largest organ. It is a protective barrier, keeping microbes out and moisture in. It also regulates temperature, enables sensation, and makes vitamin D. But researchers don't fully understand ...

Recommended for you

Woolly mammoth skeleton sold at UK auction

10 hours ago

The skeleton of an Ice Age woolly mammoth fetched £189,000 ($300,000, 239.000 euros) at auction Wednesday as it went under the hammer in Britain with a host of other rare or extinct species.

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.