Turning the Page: The Impact of Choice Closure on Satisfaction
58 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2016 Last revised: 19 Oct 2016
Date Written: 2013
After having made a purchase decision, consumers often revisit their choice and ponder forgone alternatives. This tendency can cause regret and lower satisfaction with the selected alternative, especially when choices are difficult. This paper introduces the concept of choice closure, defined as the psychological process by which consumers come to perceive a decision to be final. Choice closure inhibits consumers’ propensity to reconsider the decision process after a choice has been made and to engage in unfavorable comparisons between the chosen and the forgone options. Four studies show that physical acts that are metaphorically associated with the concept of closure — such as covering or turning a page on the rejected alternatives — trigger choice closure for choices made from large sets and result in greater satisfaction. These findings suggest that subtle cues, which do not alter the actual choice context, can improve consumers’ satisfaction with a difficult decision.
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