Choosing Apples Vs. Oranges: the Role of Construal Levels in Non-Comparable Choices

Eunice Kim, Yale University
Uzma Khan, Stanford University
Ravi Dhar, Yale University
While most consumer research has focused on choices made across comparable options, we explore choices made across non-comparable options. The key difference may be the ready availability of decision criteria versus the need to create a general one (Bettman & Sujan, 1987). We propose that construal levels will affect the ease with which general decision criteria can be created, and in doing so, will also influence choice behavior. Through a series of studies, we demonstrate that an abstract construal level decreases choice deferral rates and increases choice satisfaction for non-comparable choices and yet has the reverse effect on comparable choices.
[ to cite ]:
Eunice Kim, Uzma Khan, and Ravi Dhar (2008) ,"Choosing Apples Vs. Oranges: the Role of Construal Levels in Non-Comparable Choices", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 26-30.