Paying More But Choosing Less: How Input Factors Drive Preference Reversals in Consumer Decisions

Ritesh Saini, University of Texas at Arlington, USA
Fiona Sussan, George Mason University, USA
Anupam Jaju, George Mason University, USA
Previously research has shown that input-factors (like the amount of effort put in, direct costs, etc.) significantly influence the preference for an item even when they are non-diagnostic about the true utility derived from the item. In this paper we demonstrate, using three studies, that such non-diagnostic input factors have greater influence on preference when consumers are asked to price items than when they are asked to choose from the same items. This leads to an input-factors driven preference-reversal for consumer products. Further, we rule out scale compatibility hypothesis as a key driver for our results and instead propose a transaction fairness hypothesis.
[ to cite ]:
Ritesh Saini, Fiona Sussan, and Anupam Jaju (2010) ,"Paying More But Choosing Less: How Input Factors Drive Preference Reversals in Consumer Decisions ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 506-508 .