The Chooser’S Curse: How Underestimating the Costs of Choosing Leads to Undesirable Outcomes

Simona Botti, London Business School, UK
Christopher K. Hsee, University of Chicago
Consumers’ preference for choosing is driven by the belief that choice will make them better off and reveals a tendency to underestimate the cognitive and emotional costs associated with the provision and exercise of choice relative to its benefits. Three studies demonstrate that consumers make systematic mistakes in predicting the effect of choosing on performances and affective experiences. Even when participants were aware that the act of choosing involved costs and its benefits were negligible, they predicted choice to lead to greater performances and more positive affect; on the contrary, results show that choosers performed and felt worse than non-choosers.
[ to cite ]:
Simona Botti and Christopher K. Hsee (2008) ,"The Chooser’S Curse: How Underestimating the Costs of Choosing Leads to Undesirable Outcomes", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 249-252.