Great Expectations?! Assortment Size, Expectations and Satisfaction

Kristin Diehl, University of Southern California, USA
Cait Poynor, University of South Carolina, USA
Recently, researchers have challenged the ideal that greater choice is always desirable, by showing that larger consideration sets can increase choice deferral and switching. Our research demonstrates an additional downside of large assortments, by documenting how larger assortments may decrease satisfaction. We show that larger assortments can raise consumers’ expectations of the degree of preference match they can achieve and thus can reduce choice satisfaction. Findings from three studies find support for this expectation based process and establish that this mechanism operates over and above information overload.
[ to cite ]:
Kristin Diehl and Cait Poynor (2007) ,"Great Expectations?! Assortment Size, Expectations and Satisfaction", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 160-162.