Daniel Bartels

Similarity in Context: Implications for Consumer Judgment and Choice

Coauthor(s): Oleg Urminsky.


Decisions often depend on the similarity between stimuli encountered in the decision context. In six studies, we examine how judgments and choices are affected by systematic changes in the basis of perceived similarity. We distinguish between lower-level compositional similarity and higher-level thematic similarity, demonstrating that the basis of similarity shifts systematically over time and with other contextual cues. This shift in similarity affects assessments of fit, the prices people anticipate and are willing to pay for products, and the impact of introducing an intermediate choice option in substitution effects (where it can cannibalize either one or another option’s choice share).

Source: Working paper
Exact Citation:
Urminsky, Oleg, and Daniel Bartels. "Similarity in Context: Implications for Consumer Judgment and Choice." Working paper, Columbia Business School, January 31, 2011.
Date: 31 1 2011