When More is Less and Less is More: The Role of Ideal Point Availability and Assortment in Consumer Choice

14 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2006

Abstract

Contrary to the common wisdom that more choice is always better, selections made from large assortments can lead to weaker preferences. Building on the extant literature, this research identifies ideal point availability as a key factor moderating the impact of assortment on choice. It is proposed that, in the case of large assortments, ideal point availability can simplify choice, leading to a stronger preference for the selected alternative. In contrast, for choices made from smaller assortments, ideal point availability is proposed to have the opposite effect, leading to weaker preferences. Data obtained from four experiments lend support for the theory and the empirical predictions advanced in this article.

Keywords: Decision making, choice, assortments, availability

Suggested Citation

Chernev, Alexander, When More is Less and Less is More: The Role of Ideal Point Availability and Assortment in Consumer Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 170-183, September 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=887572

Alexander Chernev (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Marketing ( email )

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

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