Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1150853
 
 

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Variety, Vice, and Virtue: How Assortment Size Influences Option Choice


Aner Sela


University of Florida - Marketing Department

Jonah A. Berger


University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Wendy Liu


University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

June 24, 2008

Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 35, No. 6, pp. 941-951, April 2009

Abstract:     
Research has demonstrated that assortment size can influence whether consumers make a choice, but could it also influence what they choose? Five studies demonstrate that because choosing from larger assortments is often more difficult, it leads people to select options that are easier to justify. Virtues and utilitarian necessities are generally easier to justify than indulgences, and consequently, choosing from larger assortments often shifts choice from vices to virtues and from hedonic to utilitarian options. These effects reverse, however, when situational factors provide accessible reasons to indulge, underscoring the role of justification. Implications for choice difficulty, justification processes, and decision making more broadly are discussed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 11

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Date posted: June 25, 2008 ; Last revised: March 13, 2013

Suggested Citation

Sela, Aner and Berger, Jonah A. and Liu, Wendy, Variety, Vice, and Virtue: How Assortment Size Influences Option Choice (June 24, 2008). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 35, No. 6, pp. 941-951, April 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1150853

Contact Information

Aner Sela (Contact Author)
University of Florida - Marketing Department ( email )
204 Bryan Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
Jonah A. Berger
University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )
700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Wendy Liu
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
HOME PAGE: http://management.ucsd.edu/faculty/directory/wendy-liu/
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