The “Sticky Choice” Bias in Sequential Decision-Making

Aaron Brough, Northwestern University
Mathew Isaac, Northwestern University
Alexander Chernev, Northwestern University
Consumers often encounter product information in stages. Sometimes new information favors an option that was not favored by the initial information set. Because choices are based on available information, new information may challenge an earlier choice. In response, consumers might be expected to switch to an option favored by new information. However, we show that expressing an initial decision produces a “sticky choice” bias; consumers who make sequential choices are less likely than those who make a single choice to ultimately choose an option favored by new information. In this research, we aim to show that “sticky choice” bias is caused by consistency-seeking across repeated decisions.
[ to cite ]:
Aaron Brough, Mathew Isaac, and Alexander Chernev (2008) ,"The “Sticky Choice” Bias in Sequential Decision-Making", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 897-897.