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Why does context matter? Attraction effects and binary comparisons


Köhler, Wolfgang R (2007). Why does context matter? Attraction effects and binary comparisons. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 330, University of Zurich.

Abstract

A large experimental and empirical literature on asymmetric dominance and attraction effects shows that the probability that an alternative is chosen can increase if additional alternatives become available. Hence context matters and choices and, therefore, market shares can not be accurately described by standard choice models where individuals choose the alternative that yields the highest utility. This paper analyzes a simple procedural choice model. Individuals determine their choice by a sequence of binary comparisons. The model offers an intuitive explanation for violations of regularity such as the attraction and the asymmetric dominance effect and shows their relation to the similarity effect. The model analyzes a new rationale why context matters. The model is applied to explain primacy and recency effects and to derive implications with respect to product design.

Abstract

A large experimental and empirical literature on asymmetric dominance and attraction effects shows that the probability that an alternative is chosen can increase if additional alternatives become available. Hence context matters and choices and, therefore, market shares can not be accurately described by standard choice models where individuals choose the alternative that yields the highest utility. This paper analyzes a simple procedural choice model. Individuals determine their choice by a sequence of binary comparisons. The model offers an intuitive explanation for violations of regularity such as the attraction and the asymmetric dominance effect and shows their relation to the similarity effect. The model analyzes a new rationale why context matters. The model is applied to explain primacy and recency effects and to derive implications with respect to product design.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:July 2007
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 13:03
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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