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How the number of options and perceived variety influence choice satisfaction: An experiment with prescription drug plans

Helena Szrek

Judgment and Decision Making, 2017, vol. 12, issue 1, 42-59

Abstract: This study measures the perceived costs, perceived benefits, choice outcome satisfaction, and choice process satisfaction from consumers making hypothetical choices amongst prescription drug plans. I juxtapose the number of options the consumer is choosing between and his/her perceived variety of the choice set to understand which contributes more to explaining these outcomes. I find that once perceived variety is included in the model, the number of options (i) has no effect on perceived benefits and choice outcome satisfaction, (ii) increases perceived costs, and (iii) decreases choice process satisfaction. Furthermore, the concave relationship that has been shown to occur when the number of options increases is a function of the subjective perception of variety. Overall, these results contribute to our understanding of how assortment structure and the number of options affect choice outcome and process satisfaction. Additionally, this study provides some evidence that can inform U.S. national heath insurance policy and the current debate on choice in health care in the United States and other countries.

Keywords: consumer choice; perceived variety; choice overload; choice satisfaction; prescription drug plans; Medicare Part D (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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