How Complexity Impacts Path Dependent Decision Making: the Mediating Role of Heuristics

Repeated decision making can lead to inefficient outcomes when previous decisions for a particular alternative lead to positive feedback and decision makers do not recognize that new alternatives become more attractive. Yet, it is unclear whether and how complexity impacts such path dependent processes and the probability of “lock-ins”. We investigate the relationship between complexity and path dependency by focusing on information retrieval behavior of decision makers. The findings show that complexity enhances the likelihood of becoming path dependent as decision makers in highly complex situations neglect information on future developments and simply rely on positive feedback of previous decisions.


Jochen Koch, Martin Eisend, and Arne Petermann (2008) ,"How Complexity Impacts Path Dependent Decision Making: the Mediating Role of Heuristics", in LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Claudia R. Acevedo, Jose Mauro C. Hernandez, and Tina M. Lowrey, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.

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Jochen Koch, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany
Martin Eisend, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany
Arne Petermann, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany


LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 2008

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