Constructive Preferences For Rejected Options: When You Can’T Get What You Want

Wendy Attaya Boland, University of Arizona, USA
Merrie Brucks, University of Arizona, USA
Jesper H. Nielsen, University of Arizona, USA
This research considers why a close second option is sometimes rejected by the consumer when the first option is removed from the choice set. It is proposed that the unavailable first choice option focuses attention on a tie-breaking feature found in the first choice but not in the second choice. With increased weight on this attribute, a different preference may emerge from the set of rejected options. Results from two experiments demonstrate that consumers often abandon their original second choice, and instead choose an alternative that had been rated third or lower. In almost all of these cases, the newly selected option possesses an attribute found in the unavailable option but not in the original second choice option.
[ to cite ]:
Wendy Attaya Boland, Merrie Brucks, and Jesper H. Nielsen (2007) ,"Constructive Preferences For Rejected Options: When You Can’T Get What You Want", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 222-225.