Title

Reducing Choice Overload without Reducing Choices

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that a multitude of options can lead to choice overload, reducing decision quality. Through controlled experiments, we examine sequential choice architectures that enable the choice set to remain large while potentially reducing the effect of choice overload. A specific tournament-style architecture achieves this goal. An alternate architecture in which subjects compare each subset of options to the most preferred option encountered thus far fails to improve performance due to the status quo bias. Subject preferences over different choice architectures are negatively correlated with performance, suggesting that providing choice over architectures might reduce the quality of decisions.

Comments

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Review of Economics and Statistics, volume 97, in 2015 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at DOI: 10.1162/REST_a_00506.

Peer Reviewed

1

Copyright

The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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