Search Paradox: the Role of Feature Alignability in the Rise and Fall of Satisfaction

This research challenges the notion that increased search effort results in greater satisfaction with the choice. The results of two studies demonstrate that people are more inclined to continue searching when options are nonalignable compared to alignable. Although initial search increases consumers’ probability of finding a good match to their preferences, further search among nonalignable options decreases desires congruency, causing people to feel worse about their choices in environments where tradeoffs are inherent. This dual effect of search on satisfaction causes people to experience an initial increase and then decline (inverted U shape) in satisfaction. This research demonstrates the paradox that people search more options precisely when further search is detrimental to subjective choice outcomes.


Jill Griffin and Susan Broniarczyk (2007) ,"Search Paradox: the Role of Feature Alignability in the Rise and Fall of Satisfaction", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 480-482.


Jill Griffin, University of Evansville, U.S.A.
Susan Broniarczyk, University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A.


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Decisional Conflict Predicts Myopia

Paul Edgar Stillman, Ohio State University, USA
Melissa Ferguson, Cornell University, USA

Read More


Using multi-methods in behavioral pricing research

Haipeng Chen, University of Kentucky, USA
David Hardesty, University of Kentucky, USA
Akshay Rao, University of Minnesota, USA
Lisa Bolton, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Read More


Family Consumption Experiences Across Generations

Tandy Chalmers Thomas, Queens University, Canada
Linda L Price, University of Oregon, 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.