Choosing By Selecting Or Rejecting: How Decision Strategy Influences Consumer Satisfaction

Jane Machin, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA
Consumers can choose among options by selecting the most liked option or rejecting disliked option(s). The present research finds that rejection can lead to greater satisfaction than selection. Four studies, using actual and imagined consumption experiences, identify two mediating processes and two moderators. Specifically, a rejection- (versus selection-) based decision strategy increases negative thoughts about foregone options. Such thoughts are more easily recruited by rejecters and used to mitigate dissatisfaction through the generation of downward counterfactuals when the consumption experience is negative and the foregone alternatives are salient.
[ to cite ]:
Jane Machin (2009) ,"Choosing By Selecting Or Rejecting: How Decision Strategy Influences Consumer Satisfaction", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 214-217.