Reducing Choice Overload Without Reducing Choices

32 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013 Last revised: 8 Jan 2016

See all articles by Tibor Besedes

Tibor Besedes

Georgia Institute of Technology

Cary A. Deck

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies

Sudipta Sarangi

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Mikhael Shor

University of Connecticut Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 26, 2014

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that a multitude of options can lead to choice overload, reducing decision quality. Through controlled experiments, we examine sequential choice architectures that enable the choice set to remain large while potentially reducing the effect of choice overload. A specific tournament-style architecture achieves this goal. An alternate architecture in which subjects compare each subset of options to the most preferred option encountered thus far fails to improve performance due to the status quo bias. Subject preferences over different choice architectures are negatively correlated with performance, suggesting that providing choice over architectures might reduce the quality of decisions.

Keywords: Choice architecture, choice overload, inertia, status quo bias, self-sorting, decision making, experiments

JEL Classification: C91, D03

Suggested Citation

Besedes, Tibor and Deck, Cary A. and Sarangi, Sudipta and Shor, Mikhael, Reducing Choice Overload Without Reducing Choices (April 26, 2014). Netspar Discussion Paper No. 09/2012-064 - revised version April 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2357376 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2357376

Tibor Besedes (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

221 Bobby Dodd Way
Atlanta, GA 30332-0615
United States

Cary A. Deck

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 870244
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Sudipta Sarangi

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University ( email )

250 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Mikhael Shor

University of Connecticut Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mikeshor.com/

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