To support their claim, the authors present three studies that provide compelling empirical evidence that the provision of extensive choices, though initially appealing to choice-makers, may nonetheless undermine choosers' subsequent satisfaction and motivation.
Implications for future research are discussed. Tagged: Summary: The authors of this article go against the assumption that personal choices lead to positive affective and motivational consequences; they claim that when people are offered a limited array of choices, they are more likely to buy and more likely to be satisfied with their selections.
Lepper Abstract Current psychological theory and research affirm the positive affective and motivational consequences of having personal choice.
In study 2, students in an introductory social psychology class were given the opportunity to write a two-page essay as an extra-credit assignment. However, despite their greater initial enjoyment in the extensive-display condition, participants proved more dissatisfied and regretful of the choices they made and were subsequently considerably less likely to choose chocolates rather than money as compensation for their participation.
Publication type. Students were given either 6 or 30 potential essay topics on which they could choose to write.
In Study 3, participants initially made a selection from either a limited array or an extensive array of chocolates. Intrinsic motivation was assessed by comparing the percent of students who completed the assignment across the two conditions and by the quality of the essays written in each condition.
In study 1, consumers shopping at an upscale grocery store encountered a tasting booth that displayed either a limited or extensive selection of different flavors of jam. In addition, study 2revealed that students were more likely to write an essay for extra credit when they were provided a list of only 6, rather than 30, potential essay topics.
Study 1 showed that although more consumers were attracted to a tasting booth when the display included 24 flavors of jam rather than 6, consumers were subsequently much more likely to purchase jam if they had encountered the display of only 6 jams.
These findings have led to the popular notion that more choice is better, that the human ability to desire and manage choice is unlimited.