Spilling the beans: Consumer strategies that mitigate choice overload Open Access

Ravi, Archana (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/j38608291?locale=en


With the large increase in product variety over the past few decades, consumers face high levels of choice overload during the decision-making process. This study evaluates how choice architecture influences choice overload. Using a between-subject experimental design, this study looks at assortment perception, difficulty of decision-making, regret and satisfaction levels as participants decide which coffee they would prefer when given one of four menus: a ‘maximizing strategy’ menu that provides a description for each coffee, a ‘satisficing strategy’ menu that lists the coffees under three categories, a ‘combination strategy’ menu that provides categories and descriptions, and a ‘control’ menu with just the coffee names. The study found that the participants in the combination strategy menu experienced lower levels of regret and difficulty of decision-making, as well as higher levels of satisfaction compared to the satisficing strategy group and the control menu group. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between the maximizer score and regret levels for the combination strategy group. The nature of the decision-maker, choice set variety and complexity of the decision are some factors that may have contributed to the results found in this study.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1

Literature Review.. 4

Choice Overload. 4

Consequences of Choice Overload. 4

Identifying Solutions for Mitigating Choice Overload. 5

Foraging and Decision-Making. 7

Study at Hand. 8

Materials and Methods. 10

Materials. 10

Surveys. 10

Procedure. 11

Treatments. 12

Data Analysis. 13

Results. 14

Primary Analysis. 14

Maximizer Score and Decision Utility Variables. 19

Secondary Analysis. 21

Discussion. 23

Utility Variables. 23

Maximiser score. 26

Design Considerations and Future Directions. 29

Limitations. 29

Strengths. 29

Future Directions. 30

Conclusion. 32

Works Cited. 33

Appendix .. 37

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