Sub-Ethical Choice Behavior: the Attraction Effect of Scarcity

Sub-ethical choice behavior is compromising one’s values or standards, selecting the inferior ethical alternative. Sub-ethical choices are acceptable but not ideal, giving rise to the term sub-ethical rather than un-ethical. This research examines shelf-based scarcity and finds it sways consumers' choice away from their ethical ideals in a retail setting.


Ashley Otto and James Kellaris (2013) ,"Sub-Ethical Choice Behavior: the Attraction Effect of Scarcity ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 41, eds. Simona Botti and Aparna Labroo, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.


Ashley Otto, University of Cincinnati, USA
James Kellaris, University of Cincinnati, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 41 | 2013

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


A Salience Theory of Three Novel Exposure Effects

Kellen Mrkva, Columbia University, USA
Leaf Van Boven, University of Colorado, USA

Read More


Consumer Response to Innovations: The Differential Effects of Focused and Defocused Attention on Perceived Novelty, Usefulness and Symbolism

Katarina Hellén, Univeristy of Vaasa
Maria Sääksjärvi, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Read More


Tuition Myopia: Temporal Discounting Induces a Myopic Focus on the Costs of Higher Education

Haewon Yoon, Indiana University, USA
Yang Yang, University of Florida, USA
Carey K. Morewedge, Boston University, USA

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.