Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Focalism in Evaluations of Consumer Choice

Justin Kruger, New York University, USA
Jeremy Burrus, Columbia University, USA
Consumers are frequently called upon to evaluate the quality of their decisions. Logically, that quality is a function not only of the option chosen, but the option(s) rejected as well. The research presented here, however, suggests that when consumers evaluate the quality of a decision they focus on the features of the option chosen more than the features of the option(s) rejected (even when they are known). As a result, decisions tend to be deemed wise when the chosen option is positive and foolish when it is negative—occasionally even when the rejected option(s) are just as positive or negative.
[ to cite ]:
Justin Kruger and Jeremy Burrus (2007) ,"Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Focalism in Evaluations of Consumer Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 216-220.