The Company They Keep: the Influence of Reasons For Option Limitation on Assortment Judgments

Ann Schlosser, University of Washington, U.S.A.
Tiffany White, University of Illinois, U.S.A.
We investigate the effects of option limitation (i.e., removing items from a choice set; Zhang and Fitsimmons 1999) on judgments of available items. We argue that such effects depend on the reasons provided for option limitation (e.g., whether removed items are labeled sold-out versus discontinued) as well as whether assortment characteristics highlight the similarities among items. We test our predictions against two contrasting accounts based on reactance theory and halo effects. Across three studies, we find support for our prediction as well as evidence that this interactive effect is mediated by choice process satisfaction and moderated by market knowledge.
[ to cite ]:
Ann Schlosser and Tiffany White (2007) ,"The Company They Keep: the Influence of Reasons For Option Limitation on Assortment Judgments", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 479-480.