Order in Choice: Effects of Serial Position on Preferences

When choice options are sampled one-at-a-time in a sequence and the chooser makes a single end-of-sequence choice of the best option in the choice set, which location in the sequence is most often chosen? We report on one large-scale experiment that assessed preferences in choice sets of 2, 3, 4, or 5, and found a large primacy effect such that the first option had a large advantage in the end-of-sequence choice. We also found that sophisticated participants, , showed a recency effect for the longer sequences. We conclude with a process model to explain the results we obtained.


Antonia Mantonakis, Pauline Rodero, Isabelle Lesschaeve, and Reid Hastie (2010) ,"Order in Choice: Effects of Serial Position on Preferences", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 591-592 .


Antonia Mantonakis, Brock University, Canada
Pauline Rodero, Brock University, Canada
Isabelle Lesschaeve, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Canada
Reid Hastie, University of Chicago, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Inside Out: Product Essence is Perceived to be Concentrated in the Center of a Group of Products

Kunter Gunasti, Washington State University, USA
Noah VanBergen, University of Cincinnati, USA
Caglar Irmak, University of Miami, USA

Read More


N10. How Does It Make You Feel? Emotional Reasoning and Consumer Decisions

Andrea Rochelle Bennett, University of North Texas
Blair Kidwell, University of North Texas
Jonathan Hasford, University of Central Florida, USA
David Hardesty, University of Kentucky, USA
Molly Burchett, University of Kentucky, USA

Read More


Format Neglect?: How Different Rank Claim Formats Influence Preference

Julio Sevilla, University of Georgia, USA
Mathew S. Isaac, Seattle University
Rajesh Bagchi, Virginia Tech, 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.