Choice: How Much Is Too Much?

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Executive Summary

It seems counterintuitive that fewer choices provide higher levels of satisfaction. But that's exactly what Elena Reutskaja, assistant professor of marketing at IESE, and Robin M. Hogarth, of Pompeu Fabra University, argue in their paper, "Satisfaction in Choice as a Function of the Number of Alternatives: When 'Goods Satiate' But 'Bads Escalate'," a version of which was recently published in Psychology and Marketing. The authors explore how satisfaction varies according to the number of alternatives in the choice sets people face. The authors suggest that variety is beneficial and costly for people at the same time. People like to have large varieties of products.

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