Impact of choice closure on satisfaction

Gu, Yangjie (2013) Impact of choice closure on satisfaction. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School.


In my dissertation, I introduce the concept of choice closure, defined as the psychological process by which consumers come to perceive a decision to be resolved and complete. Choice closure allows consumers to perceive a decision to be final and inhibits their tendency to revert to the decision process. In the first part of the dissertation, I argue that choice closure enhances satisfaction with a decision outcome in the context of difficult decisions. Five studies show that specific physical acts metaphorically associated with the concept of closure -- turning one's back on, covering or turning a page on the rejected alternatives -- trigger choice closure in the context of choices made from an extensive number of alternatives. These studies also show that performing acts of closure prevents consumers from reconsidering their decisions and engaging in unfavourable comparisons between the chosen and forgone options. As a result, choice closure leads to greater satisfaction with the outcome of choices made from large sets. In the second part of the dissertation, I study the possibility that choice closure does not always enhance satisfaction with the selected option. Specifically, I posit that the impact of choice closure on satisfaction depends on the valence of the decision outcome. Four studies further demonstrate that choice closure, this time triggered by visual cues associated with the notion of closure, enhances satisfaction with a negative decision outcome because comparisons are unfavourable against that outcome. However, choice closure reduces satisfaction with a positive decision outcome because comparisons are favourable against that outcome. Despite this, consumers do not seem to have an intuition for when they should and should not try to facilitate closure, and they may act in ways that could be detrimental to their satisfaction.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Marketing
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 16:24
Date of first compliant deposit: 10 Feb 2022
Subjects: Choice
Consumer behaviour
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2022 07:41

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