What really matters in attraction effect research: when choices have economic consequences

Abstract

Researchers have recently strongly questioned the robustness of the attraction effect, according to which adding a decoy option to an existing choice set affects consumers’ choice behavior. Tying in with this debate, we identify the persistent use of hypothetical choices in the domain to be a major shortcoming in attraction effect research. In an experiment on the attraction effect with a realistic choice setting that fosters external validity, we manipulate the choice framing by contrasting hypothetical choices with binding choices that entail economic consequences. We find the attraction effect to be much stronger when decisions are binding, underlining the effect’s usefulness as a marketing tool.

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Correspondence to Marko Sarstedt.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 2 Overview over experimental attraction effect studies on product and service choice

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Lichters, M., Bengart, P., Sarstedt, M. et al. What really matters in attraction effect research: when choices have economic consequences. Mark Lett 28, 127–138 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11002-015-9394-6

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Keywords

  • Asymmetrical dominance
  • Attraction effect
  • Context effect
  • No-buy option
  • Real payments