When the Attraction Effect Disappears: the Differential Impact of Adding Common Versus Unique Features on Consumer Choice

Young-Won Ha, Sogang University
Sehoon Park, Sungkyunkwan University
Hee-Kyung Ahn, Sogang University
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - The attraction effect has received considerable attention from decision researchers (e.g., Ariely and Wallsten 1995; Heath and Chatterjee 1995; Huber, Payne, and Puto 1982; Huber and Puto 1983; Pettibone and Wedell 2000; Sen 1998; Simonson 1989, Simonson and Tversky 1992; Tversky and Kahneman 1991). It refers to the ability of an asymmetrically dominated or relatively inferior alternative, when added to the original choice set, to increase the attractiveness and choice probability of the dominating alternative (Simonson 1989). Despite its importance and robustness, the attraction effect has been typically demonstrated using simple choice sets, involving only a few alternatives described on two monotonic attributes (Ratneshwar, Shocker, and Stewart 1987). In this research, using choice tasks similar to those employed in typical attraction effect studies, we examine how adding a third categorical attribute to the choice set affects consumer choice.
[ to cite ]:
Young-Won Ha, Sehoon Park, and Hee-Kyung Ahn (2004) ,"When the Attraction Effect Disappears: the Differential Impact of Adding Common Versus Unique Features on Consumer Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 37-38.