Seeking and avoiding choice closure to enhance outcome satisfaction

Gu, Y, Botti, S and Faro, D (2018) Seeking and avoiding choice closure to enhance outcome satisfaction. Journal of Consumer Research, 45 (4). pp. 792-809. ISSN 0093-5301 OPEN ACCESS

Abstract

Consumers gain choice closure when they perceive a sense of finality over a past decision and limit comparisons between the selected and the forgone options. We investigate consumers’ ability to make strategic use of choice closure to enhance outcome satisfaction. Seven studies show that consumers experience greater satisfaction when they achieve choice closure with an inferior outcome and when they do not achieve choice closure with a superior outcome; however, they expect to be more satisfied by avoiding choice closure with an inferior outcome and by seeking it with a superior outcome. We provide a rationale for this experience–expectation contrast based on rule overgeneralization. Consumers form their expectation on an implicit rule learned and internalized in a context in which it is appropriate and advantageous: when they aim to increase satisfaction with a future choice; however, consumers erroneously apply the same implicit rule to a different context, one in which they aim to increase satisfaction with a past choice. We conclude that consumers are unlikely to be able to make strategic use of choice closure to enhance satisfaction with the outcome of a decision they have made.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Marketing
Additional Information: © 2018 Journal of Consumer Research Inc. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Reearch following peer review. The version of record: Yangjie Gu, Simona Botti, David Faro (2018) Seeking and Avoiding Choice Closure to Enhance Outcome Satisfaction, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 45, Issue 4, 1 December 2018, Pages 792–809, is available online at https://academic.oup.com/jcr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jcr/ucy025/4956242 and https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucy025
Subjects: C > Choice
C > Consumer behaviour
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2018 15:44
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2019 07:36
URI: http://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/974
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