Perceptual focus effects in choice

Ryan Hamilton*, Jiewen Hong, Alexander Chernev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This article examines consumer choice as a function of the perceptual similarity of the options in the decision set. In particular, we examine a scenario in which a set of options is extended by adding alternatives that change its perceptual characteristics, increasing the salience of one of the options in the core set. In this context, we document that, contrary to normative predictions, perceptual focus can Increase the choice share of one of the core options, even when the added alternatives are dominated by both options in the core set. We further show that the observed effect is a function of consumers' mode of information processing and is more pronounced in the context of intuitive (System 1) processing than analytic (System 2) processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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