Perceptual Focus Effects in Choice

13 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2020

Abstract

This article examines consumer choice as a function of the perceptual similarity of the options in the decision set. In particular, we examine a scenario in which a set of options is extended by adding alternatives that change its perceptual characteristics, increasing the salience of one of the options in the core set. In this context, we document that, contrary to normative predictions, perceptual focus can increase the choice share of one of the core options, even when the added alternatives are dominated by both options in the core set. We further show that the observed effect is a function of consumers' mode of information processing and is more pronounced in the context of intuitive (System 1) processing than analytic (System 2) processing.

Suggested Citation

Chernev, Alexander and Hong, Jiewen and Hamilton, Ryan, Perceptual Focus Effects in Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 34, August 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1014144

Alexander Chernev (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Rd.
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Jiewen Hong

Northwestern University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Rd.
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Ryan Hamilton

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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