Date of Award
J. A. Skelton
Many people enjoying having numerous options available to them, yet when it comes to making a choice, people prefer selecting from fewer options. Research has shown that people tend to have the greatest satisfaction when selecting from 10 available options in relatively simple decisions, however there is little research examining this phenomenon with complex decisionmaking. Results from an experiment using college students (N = 104) indicated that participants' outcome satisfaction ratings were the highest when there were seven or nine available options compared with three or five available options, yet their process satisfaction ratings followed an inverted U-shaped function with a peak at seven options. Directions for future research include systematically varying the complexity of the options offered as well as comparing simple versus complex decisions of the same domain. This could help researchers better understand how to increase consumer satisfaction.
Putnam, C. Taylor, "Decision-Making between Different Sized Choice Sets: How the Number of Available Options Affects Peak Satisfaction" (2011). Dickinson College Honors Theses. Paper 181.