Choosing to choose: The effects of decoys and prior choice on deferral

William M. Hedgcock, Raghunath Singh Rao, Haipeng Allan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sellers are often more interested in inducing buyers to make a choice any choice than in influencing which option they choose. For example, many retailers are more concerned about maximizing customer purchases within categories than influencing which brand is purchased in any particular category. Although this issue is important to researchers and practitioners, research on how contextual factors, such as decoys and prior decisions, affect whether consumers will "choose to choose" is scarce. We propose a reference-dependent model to fill this gap. This model unites several streams of research and leads to novel predictions that are tested and supported in four experiments. The paper concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2952-2976
Number of pages25
JournalManagement Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 INFORMS.


  • Choice
  • Decoys
  • Deferral
  • Dynamic decision making
  • No-choice

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