Effects of information format and similarity among alternatives on consumer choice processes

  • Elizabeth Cooper-Martin


This study explores how similarity among alternatives and a new information format, branching, affect consumer choice processes. A branching format organizes real, physically present objects by attribute levels. Thirty-six female consumers made six choices from sets of products in a laboratory setting and provided concurrent verbal protocols. Compared to a brand format, a branching format elicited fewer comparisons, had no effect on cognitive effort other than comparisons, and had no effect on intention to choose the best. Compared to the similar set, the dissimilar set elicited more comparisons, lower levels of other measures of cognitive effort, and less intention to choose the best. These effects of similarity and information format were consistent across the two product classes tested. However, the effects of information format and similarity on comparisons differed from their effects on other measures of cognitive effort.


Decision Time Consumer Research Cognitive Effort Product Class Information Format 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Cooper-Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationGeorgetown UniversityWashington, D.C.

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