Publication Details

Thai, N. T. & Yuksel, U. (2014). Choice Overload during Travel Decision Making for Self vs. Other. Proceedings of the 47th Academy of Marketing Conference AM2014 - "Marketing Dimensions: People, places, and spaces", (pp. 1-8).


It has been a common belief that major accomplishments of modern societies and developed economies are evidenced through providing more choices and varieties for consumers. Economists and conventional wisdom believe that having more choices maximises utility (Broniarczyk, 2008); thus, people should prefer to have as many options as possible to make informed decisions. In psychology and marketing literature, having more choices is argued to help increase well-being, satisfy diverse consumer needs (Dworkin, 1982), increase purchase and consumption (Koelemeijer & Oppewal, 1999), reduce search costs (Hutchinson, 2005), and enhance personal freedom of choice (Schwartz, 2004). In contrast, recent studies has reported negative impacts when the number of choices increases (Scheibehenne, Greifeneder, & Todd, 2009). This phenomenon is named as choice overload effect, hypothesizing that when facing too many options, decision-makers experience cognitive overload that leads to negative perceptions (Schwartz, 2004). Research has provided evidence that choice overload leads to cognitive dissonance (Anderson, Taylor, & Holloway, 1966), dissatisfaction (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000; Reutskaja & Hogarth, 2009), post-decision regret (Carmon, Wertenbroch, & Zeelenberg, 2003), demotivation to purchase (Shah & Wolford, 2007), and choice withdrawal (Dhar, 1997; Iyengar & Jiang, 2003; Park & Jang, 2013). Due to these contradictory findings about the effects of choice overload, this paper suggests two propositions: (1) choice overload exists in high-involvement contexts such as selecting a vacation destination, and (2) choice overload during making travel decision for self vs. for other.

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