Searching Ordered Sets: Evaluations from Sequences Under Search

28 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2004

See all articles by Kristin Diehl

Kristin Diehl

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Gal Zauberman

Yale

Abstract

Consumers often search for and choose from ordered sets; commonly from options listed from best to worst. Normatively, such declining orderings maximize expected value from search and should lead to more positive evaluations of the experience compared to searching improving orderings. We demonstrate, however, that amount of search moderates consumers' evaluations of declining versus improving orderings. Search from different orderings exposes consumers to sequences of options characterized by different key psychological moments (trend and end) as well as to different levels of average quality. Greater search can lead to more positive evaluations for improving versus declining orderings because consumers experience more positive moments to base their evaluation on. Supporting the proposed model, we show that overall evaluations are influenced by differences in these key moments over and above quality changes of the set.

Keywords: Information search, judgment and decision making, E-commerce/internet, satisfaction

JEL Classification: M30, D83, D90

Suggested Citation

Diehl, Kristin and Zauberman, Gal, Searching Ordered Sets: Evaluations from Sequences Under Search. Journal of Consumer Research, March 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=529724

Kristin Diehl (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Gal Zauberman

Yale ( email )

165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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