The Effects of the Selective Consideration of Alternatives on Consumer Choice and Attitude-Decision Consistency
Steven S. Posavac
Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University
David M. Sanbonmatsu
University of Utah - Department of Psychology
Edward A. Ho
University of Utah - Prometric Testing Center
There are many instances of consumer decision making in which more consideration is given to one brand than others in the choice set. The present research explores how selective consideration of a brand affects attitudes toward the brand, relative standing of the focal brand within the choice category, and decision making. Experiment 1 demonstrates that when participants are prompted to consider a randomly determined focal alternative, that alternative is more likely to be chosen than non-focal alternatives. Moreover, willingness-to-pay for an alternative is higher if it is the focus of consideration. Attitudinal data suggest that the selective consideration effect occurs because attitudes toward the focal alternative become more positive compared to other alternatives in the choice set. Experiment 2 elucidates this attitudinal effect by demonstrating that selective consideration can cause the extremity of consumers' attitudes toward a focal brand to become more positive. Experiment 3 explores the potential of the selective consideration of a focal alternative to influence the consistency between consumers' attitudes and decisions, and establishes that the initial attitude towards a focal alternative moderates the selective consideration effect.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 9, 2002
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