The joint effects of choice assortment and regulatory focus on choice behaviour
Date of this Version
Past research presents contrasting views regarding the effect of assortment size on consumer decision making. Research has suggested that large assortments provide a diverse range of choices to consumers and thus increase their choice confidence levels and likelihood of making choices. Other research, however, has suggested that large assortments may have a negative impact on consumers' choice confidence and choice likelihoods because of cognitive load and anticipatory post-purchase regret. The current research aims to address these contrasting conclusions by examining the issue from the motivational goal perspective. Specifically, it is demonstrated that when consumers' regulatory orientations are promotion-focused, an increase in size of an alignable (non-alignable) assortment has a positive (negative) impact on their choice confidence levels and choice likelihood. In contrast, when consumers' regulatory orientations are prevention-focused, an increase in assortment size can have positive impacts on choice confidence levels and choice likelihood irrespective of whether the assortment is alignable or non-alignable. The findings are demonstrated in an experimental setting using a 2 (Consumer's self-regulatory focus: Promotion vs. Prevention). ×. 2 (Assortment type: Alignable vs. Non-alignable). ×. 4 (Size of assortment: 2 vs. 3 vs. 4 vs. 5) "between-subjects using an ANCOVA design" with "choice confidence" and "choice likelihood" being the dependent measures.
This document has been peer reviewed.