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The Consumption Experience MAR 3503 March 15, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "The Consumption Experience MAR 3503 March 15, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Consumption Experience MAR 3503 March 15, 2012

2 The paradox of choice Our options are ever increasing – In products: 19 different kinds of Hershey’s Kisses have been on the market; 24 kinds of Oreos – In careers: College education allows people to consider careers inaccessible 30 years ago – In love: Relationships that aren’t given a second thought today would have been unthinkable to our grandparents

3 Is choice a good thing? When asked, people believe that more options is better – Free society implies the freedom to choose – Everything in life is a choice Some choices are ingrained and so no longer seem to be a choice Some seem to be unimportant or irrelevant – These choices are implicit and psychologically unreal

4 Is choice a good thing? Implicit choices make our lives easier—can you imagine explicitly making every choice we encounter during the day? The increase in number of choices is turning some formerly implicit choices into explicit and burdensome ones Each individual choice is not bad—it is the cumulative effect that leads to problems Some argue we are trapped in “the tyranny of small decisions”

5 Is choice a good thing? Even big choices are often threatening or burdensome – 65% of people say they would like to choose the course of cancer treatment before they are diagnosed, but only 12% wish to choose after diagnosis – As the number of mutual funds in a 401(k) plan goes up, the rate of participation goes down, even when employers match funds 10 more mutual funds = 2% less participation

6 Number of options Alternatives – While it seems like choosing from a larger array of choices should lead to better decisions, it appears that choosing from smaller arrays actually leaves people happier with their choice – For example, a study done at Stanford showed that people who taste 6 different jams are happier with their favorite flavor of jam and are more likely to buy that type of jam or any jam than those who taste 24 different jams – People are happier and actually write better papers when they are given a small number of topics to choose from than a large number – People are happier with a chocolate when they choose it from an array of 6 chocolates than when they choose from an array of 30

7 Number of options It appears that a larger number of alternatives leads to more regret with the final choice The quality of the top two or three options can be much closer than in a smaller array – “Out of 24 jams, there must have been one at least equally as good as the one I chose.” The options you did not choose are much more salient yet less distinguishable when the array is larger The pressure to make a good choice is also greater with a large choice set

8 Adaptation As have seen, people inevitably adapt to their experiences over time – Sensory experiences – Personal experiences – States of being But you can reduce how much adaptation occurs or has an impact on your experience

9 Stupid commercials! People believe that commercials make you enjoy a TV show less Half predicted how they would enjoy a TV show with or without them, half actually experienced it and reported how they feel – Half watched a TV show with commercials, half watched the same show without them Measured actual enjoyment or predicted enjoyment

10 Commercials help! Nelson, Meyvis, & Galak, 2009

11 Remembering variety

12 Galak, Redden, & Kruger, 2009 Participants enjoy the jelly beans more when they remembered a variety of other jelly beans. Remembering variety seems to reduce even physiological satiation.

13 Imagined satiety Morewedge, Huh, & Vosgerau, 2010

14 Unexplained events

15 Beer preferences Lee, Frederick, & Ariely, 2006

16 Names matter Asiago Roast Beef Panini Early Spring Market Vegetables New York Style Cheesecake Refreshing White Grape Spritzer Roast Beef Sandwich Vegetable Medley Cheesecake White Grape Juice

17 “Labels” matter

18 More expensive pain meds work better Placebo effects are well-known Money can be a placebo, too – People feel more relief from seasonal colds when they use name-brand medicines than when they use discounted ones – Almost all participants feel pain relief from a “pain- relief medicine” that costs $2.50 a dose, but only half do from a pill that costs $.10 a dose – Participants who drink a full-price SoBe drink are able to solve more anagrams than participants who drink a discounted SoBe This is especially true when the drink’s “brain-boosting” properties were emphasized

19 Expensive wines taste better

20 Absolute experience is relative



23 Which would taste better?


25 Were you right? Normal paceSlow pace Morewedge et al., 2010

26 Summary Experience is not absolute – The same product can lead to different psychological and physiological reactions We enjoy things for reasons we may not anticipate – Many seeming or normatively irrelevant factors influence our enjoyment of the things we consume Other options A product’s name A product’s price How sated we are

27 Next time… What happens after we make a choice?

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