When Unique (Nonalignable) Differences Acquire Greater Importance Than Shared (Alignable) Ones: the Role of Noncomparison-Based Choice Processes

Amitav Chakravarti, New York University, USA
Suzanne Nasco, Southern Illinois University, USA
Choice is often a function of shared (alignable) and unique (nonalignable) attributes of the available options. Past research shows alignables to be more influential than nonalignables. This is marked by a well-documented tendency for consumers to choose options that are superior on the alignables over options that are superior on the nonalignables. Nonetheless, we show that there are several individual-level, contextual, and situational factors that influence decision makers to pay more attention to nonalignables. The studies provide evidence that while alignables dominate in decisions involving extensive comparisons, nonalignables loom larger when individuals are encouraged to engage in non-comparison based processing.
[ to cite ]:
Amitav Chakravarti and Suzanne Nasco (2010) ,"When Unique (Nonalignable) Differences Acquire Greater Importance Than Shared (Alignable) Ones: the Role of Noncomparison-Based Choice Processes", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 605-606 .