The Effect of Opportunity Cost Salience on Purchase Decision

Shane Frederick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Nathan Novemsky, Yale University, USA
Jang Wang, Yale University, USA
Ravi Dhar, Stephen Nowlis, Yale University, USA, Arizona State University, USA
Opportunity cost is a fundamental concept in economic theory, but little is known about the degree to which consumers incorporate (or exclude) opportunity costs from their consideration when deciding whether or what to purchase. Our research suggests, however, that opportunity costs are not spontaneously considered. In four studies, manipulations which increased the salience of opportunity cost either deterred purchase or increased price sensitivity by inducing a shift toward the cheaper of two competing products.
[ to cite ]:
Shane Frederick, Nathan Novemsky, Jang Wang, and Ravi Dhar, Stephen Nowlis (2007) ,"The Effect of Opportunity Cost Salience on Purchase Decision", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 265-268.