When choosing is difficult: Complexity and choice-overload
Rainer Greifeneder () and
Benjamin Scheibehenne ()
Additional contact information
Rainer Greifeneder: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
Benjamin Scheibehenne: Indiana University, Cognitive Science Program, Postal: 1101 E. 10th St. Bloomington, IN 47405 USA
No 08-18, Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim
Although consumers readily seek choice and abundance, the so-called choice-overload hypothesis suggests that having many options to choose from eventually leads to negative consequences, such as decreased post-choice satisfaction. The present research seeks to extend this claim by proposing that it is not just the number of options, but generally variables that increase the complexity of a choice task that can have detrimental effects on post-choice satisfaction. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally manipulated not only the number of options participants had to choose from, but also the number of attributes on which the options were differentiated. Moreover, we used a structural approach from information theory to capture the complexity of the respective assortments (entropy). Results revealed an inverted U-shaped relationship between information complexity and post-choice satisfaction such that there seems to be an optimal point of complexity, before and beyond which post-choice satisfaction is reduced.
Pages: 21 pages
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
There are no downloads for this item, see the EconPapers FAQ for hints about obtaining it.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:08-18
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim Contact information at EDIRC., Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Carsten Schmidt (). This e-mail address is bad, please contact .