Last Updated Apr 3, 2009 7:48 AM EDT
- The Find: One blog is wading into the ongoing debate over whether customers can be put off by too much choice, citing new scientific evidence that people are perfectly happy to have as many options as possible.
- The Source: A post on The British Psychological Society Research Digest blog.
Benjamin Scheibehenne and colleagues have waded into the topic with the claim that the "too-much-choice effect" has in fact failed to appear in many experiments, and with the real-life observation that shops that offer more consumer choice tend to be more successful.So go ahead then and stock all 857 varieties of toothpaste â€" you won't scare away any customers, as long as you don't quiz them about why they selected the particular tube they did. Anyone wanting to get into the nitty gritty details of Scheibehenne's study, can find the paper in the journal Psychology and Marketing.
In a series of experiments, Scheibehenne's team tested 598 participants who were asked to choose from among restaurants, charities and music downloads. Throughout, they varied factors that they hoped might explain why the too-much-choice effect sometimes occurs and sometimes doesn't.
For most of the experiments, the too-much-choice effect wasn't actually observed and when it did, the only relevant factor which increased the effect was the need to justify one's choice.