Sheena Iyengar

Eternal Quest for the Best: Sequential (vs. Simultaneous) Option Presentation Undermines Choice Commitment

Coauthor(s): Cassie Mogilner, Baba Shiv.

Download:

Adobe Acrobat PDF

Abstract:

A series of laboratory and field experiments test the effect of considering options sequentially (one at a time) versus simultaneously (all at once) on an individual’s satisfaction with and commitment to their chosen option. The results converge to reveal a detrimental effect of choosing from sequentially presented options. Unlike simultaneously presented options, the sequential presentation of options evokes hope for a better option to become available in the future and regret from potentially passing one up. Even when sequential and simultaneous choosers select an objectively equivalent option, these emotions cause sequential choosers to be less committed to and satisfied with the choices they make.

Exact Citation:
Mogilner, Cassie, Baba Shiv, and Sheena Iyengar. "Eternal Quest for the Best: Sequential (vs. Simultaneous) Option Presentation Undermines Choice Commitment." Journal of Consumer Research 39, no. 6 (2013): 1300-1312.
Volume: 39
Number: 6
Pages: 1300-1312
Date: 2013