When Choosing Is No Longer a Burden: the Mitigating Effect of Positive Affect and Novelty on Choice Overload

Alice M. Isen, Cornell University, USA
Gergana Spassova, Cornell University, USA
Results from four studies show that either positive affect or novelty mitigates the negative consequences of choice overload. People in whom positive affect had been induced, or who had experienced novelty, enjoyed choosing from a large, but not from a small, assortment of jams more than controls and were more satisfied with the selected option. Studies three and four extended these findings to measures of post-sampling satisfaction. It is proposed that positive affect and novelty mitigate the negative consequences of assortment size by enhancing people’s cognitive flexibility and ability to organize material and by promoting a preference for variety.
[ to cite ]:
Alice M. Isen and Gergana Spassova (2009) ,"When Choosing Is No Longer a Burden: the Mitigating Effect of Positive Affect and Novelty on Choice Overload", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 157-160.