The Effect of Attribute Order and Variety on Choice Demotivation: a Field Experiment on German Car Buyers

Jonathan Levav, Columbia University, US
Mark Heitmann, St. Gallen University, Switzerland
Andreas Herrmann, St. Gallen University, Switzerland
Sheena S. Iyengar, Columbia University, US
Previous research has shown that too much choice leads to choice demotivation. In two studies with Audi car customers making a sequence of real choices we test the effect of attribute order and variety on choice demotivation. We operationalize choice demotivation as the propensity to accept the default option. We find that default taking increases as participants proceed through the decision sequence, but that the slope of this tendency is greater when attributes are ordered from most varied to least varied rather than from least varied to most varied. Participants were also more satisfied in the least to most condition.
[ to cite ]:
Jonathan Levav, Mark Heitmann, Andreas Herrmann, and Sheena S. Iyengar (2007) ,"The Effect of Attribute Order and Variety on Choice Demotivation: a Field Experiment on German Car Buyers", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 418-420.