Comparability and Hierarchical Processing in Multialternative Choice
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Consumer choice research recently moved beyond brand-based decisions to study the more noncomparable choices consumers often face. Noncomparable choice processing in choices involving multiple products is discussed. In Experiment 1, consumers used attribute-based processing at an abstract level and alternative-based processing at a concrete level to evaluate more noncomparable alternatives independent of choice set size. In Experiment 2, the choices from Experiment 1 were compared with choices within which products varied in comparability. The results suggest that comparability variance within a multialternative choice set facilitates consumers' use of product categories and hierarchical processing to eliminate choice alternatives.
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consumer choice; multialternative choice; noncomparable choice
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