The Top-Ten Effect: Consumers’ Subjective Perceptions of Rankings

Mathew S. Isaac, Seattle University, USA
Robert M. Schindler, Rutgers University-Camden, USA
A series of field and laboratory studies indicates that consumers tend to mentally partition uncategorized lists of ranked items, such as Businessweek's rankings of top MBA programs, into round-number categories. This tendency causes consumers to exaggerate the perceived distance between category-bordering ranks, such as rank 10 versus rank 11.
[ to cite ]:
Mathew S. Isaac and Robert M. Schindler (2013) ,"The Top-Ten Effect: Consumers’ Subjective Perceptions of Rankings", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 41, eds. Simona Botti and Aparna Labroo, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.