Choice-Process Satisfaction: The Influence of Attribute Alignability and Option Limitation.

Published

Journal Article

This research investigates how choice-process satisfaction is influenced by limitation of choice option and by the types of features used to represent the options. Studies of choice satisfaction have focused on how satisfied the decision maker feels about the choice that has been made and have overlooked the importance of the process through which the decision maker makes a choice, i.e., choice-process satisfaction. We show that the comparability of choice options through alignable features increases choice-process satisfaction, whereas option limitation (i.e., making one option unavailable from a set of equally attractive options) decreases choice-process satisfaction. Further, this decrease in satisfaction, relative to all options being available, occurs for people who are given a set of options in which the difference features are alignable (i.e., differences of a corresponding dimension) but not for people who are given a set of options in which the difference features are nonalignable (i.e., differences of unique dimensions). We propose that alignable differences are easier to compare and have more weight in people's attribute processing, and thus give rise to a perception of a greater amount of information about the option set that is relevant for choice. Making an option unavailable in this case would have a bigger impact than in a situation in which all options have nonalignable differences. Nonalignable differences are difficult to process and are less likely to make people aware that there is very much information about the options for decision making. This explanation and the interaction effect between option limitation and feature alignability are tested in four experiments. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, S; Fitzsimons, GJ

Published Date

  • March 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 192 - 214

PubMed ID

  • 10080913

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10080913

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1006/obhd.1999.2821

Language

  • eng