Unavailable Cake on the Menu: How Phantom Compromise Alternatives Alter Indulgence Tendencies

This study shows that compromise-but-unavailable “phantom” alternatives systematically alter indulgence tendencies. Study 1 and 2 show that such alternatives can increase indulgence by reducing anticipatory guilt and regret. Studies 3 and 4 then reverse the effect by moderating hedonistic tendencies. The results implicate latent desires (those not reflected in control/baseline shares) that phantom-compromise alternatives can leverage to alter choice.


Yuanyuan Liu, Timothy B. Heath, and Ayse Önçüler (2013) ,"Unavailable Cake on the Menu: How Phantom Compromise Alternatives Alter Indulgence Tendencies", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 10, eds. Gert Cornelissen, Elena Reutskaja, and Ana Valenzuela, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 326-326.


Yuanyuan Liu, ESSEC Business School, France
Timothy B. Heath, HEC Paris, France
Ayse Önçüler, ESSEC Business School, France


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 10 | 2013

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Good Gets Better, Bad Gets Worse: The Polarizing Effect of Rating a Consumption Experience

Nahid Ibrahim, University of Alberta, Canada
Gerald Häubl, University of Alberta, Canada
Rory Waisman, University of Alberta, Canada

Read More


How Residential Mobility Influences Donations

Yajin Wang, University of Maryland, USA
Amna Kirmani, University of Maryland, USA
Xiaolin Li, University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Nicole Kim, University of Maryland, USA

Read More


Deprivation of Control and the Phonetic Appeal of Brand Names

Jamel Khenfer, Zayed University
Caroline Cuny, Grenoble Ecole de Management

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.