The Bold – Timid Divide in Consumer Choice

Michal Maimaran, Stanford University
Itamar Simonson, Stanford University
We propose that many seemingly different choice problems consumers face involve fundamentally similar options. Specifically, we argue that across a wide range of problems some options represent more “timid” choices (e.g., compromise, safe, and standard options) whereas other options represent more “bold” choices (e.g., extreme, risky, and unique options). The tendency to select a more timid or bold option across problem types is affected by situational cues which trigger a more timid or bold mindset. Several studies demonstrate this distinction between options and the corresponding mindsets, showing that the same manipulations have an equivalent effect on choice behavior across different choice problems.
[ to cite ]:
Michal Maimaran and Itamar Simonson (2008) ,"The Bold – Timid Divide in Consumer Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 101-105.