Order in Choice: Effects of Serial Position on Preferences

Antonia Mantonakis, Brock University, Canada
Pauline Rodero, Brock University, Canada
Isabelle Lesschaeve, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Canada
Reid Hastie, University of Chicago, USA
When choice options are sampled one-at-a-time in a sequence and the chooser makes a single end-of-sequence choice of the best option in the choice set, which location in the sequence is most often chosen? We report on one large-scale experiment that assessed preferences in choice sets of 2, 3, 4, or 5, and found a large primacy effect such that the first option had a large advantage in the end-of-sequence choice. We also found that sophisticated participants, , showed a recency effect for the longer sequences. We conclude with a process model to explain the results we obtained.
[ to cite ]:
Antonia Mantonakis, Pauline Rodero, Isabelle Lesschaeve, and Reid Hastie (2010) ,"Order in Choice: Effects of Serial Position on Preferences", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 591-592 .