Preference Fluency in Sequential Customization: the Unexpected Ease Or Difficulty of Product Feature Decisions

Keith Wilcox, Baruch College, USA
Sangyoung Song, Baruch College, USA
Previous research on preference fluency has found that increasing the difficulty of a decision can affect preference. In this paper, we demonstrate that the effect of fluency on preference depends on whether there is a discrepancy between the actual and expected level of difficulty. In two experiments, we find that within sequential customization processes, initial product feature decisions influence expectations for subsequent decisions. When the difficulty of subsequent decisions deviates from expectations, individuals experience preference fluency and select more premium features compared to when they perform a similar task where the level of difficulty is expected.
[ to cite ]:
Keith Wilcox and Sangyoung Song (2009) ,"Preference Fluency in Sequential Customization: the Unexpected Ease Or Difficulty of Product Feature Decisions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 653-653.