The Tradeoff Heuristic: the Settling Effect of Conflict

Wendy Liu, UCLA Anderson School of Management, USA
Itamar Simonson, Stanford University, USA
This research examines the role of conflict in purchase decisions. We propose that conflict can sometimes increase the likelihood of purchase. Specifically, when all current options are relatively unattractive, conflict may increase purchase from the current set (rather than to search further) through the “the tradeoff heuristic”—when people see that they have to lose one attribute in order to gain another attribute, they become less motivated to search further, and more willing to accept the current attribute levels. We test the settling effect of conflict in 4 studies.
[ to cite ]:
Wendy Liu and Itamar Simonson (2010) ,"The Tradeoff Heuristic: the Settling Effect of Conflict", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 115-117 .