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Alternative TitleThe Effect of Assortment Size on E-commerce Decision- Making Attitude and Behavior
刘彤1,2; 马继伟1,2; 李信1,2; 陈毅文1,2
First Author刘彤
Contribution Rank1


Other Abstract

With the rapid development of e-commerce, online shopping behavior gets more and more attention. Consumers can just stay at home to enjoy shopping online. Shopping online not only saves a lot of time and energy costs, but also improves the possibility of consumers finding products to meet their needs. Sometimes consumers get benefit from plentiful options but sometimes they spend a lot of time and efforts and cannot find the satisfaction to meet their needs. Results of previous studies are inconsistent. A lot of studies have shown that the more choices there are, the better the online shopping experience; however, some researchers have found the "choice overload effect". The choice overload effect states that when the individual is faced with too many options compared to a smaller set of options, more negative results will ensue. For example, the lower degree of satisfaction, delaying selection, regret, the decline in self-confidence, or the reduction of buying behavior. A large number of studies in the past had been done, but the majority was on traditional shopping. The empirical research about the assortment size and the choice overload effect of online shopping is few. The present study aims to explore the effect of assortment size, target certainty and product type on consumer decision-making attitude and behavior for online shopping.  Three pretests and a main laboratory experiment have been conducted. First, we ran pretests 1 and 2 to select the specific product materials to be used in the main experiment, which would be used to indicate the main attributes for the experience product and the search product (beef jerky as experience product and USB flash drive as search product). Second, we ran pretest 3 to make sure the option number for big and small selection was set (15 options as small selection set and 60 options as large one). 125 students (41 for pretest 1, 54 for pretest 2 and 30 for pretest 3) participated in the pretests. It used a 2(large, small) × 2(certainty, uncertainty) × 2(experience product, search product) between-subject design in our main experiment. The participants' target certainty was manipulated by whether the participants needed to describe what they want. A total of 160 students (81 males and 79 females, M = 21.89, SD = 3.70) were randomly assigned to eight groups. They were first asked to read the instruction and imagine that they were doing online shopping. Then they were manipulated of target certainty and scanned the webpages we designed for each group. Finally, they completed a series of questions measuring their satisfaction, confidence and choice deferral.  The results showed the attitude-behavior separation, choice from large assortments were more likely to lead to higher satisfaction (M = 5.16 vs. 4.55), higher confidence (M = 5.11 vs. 4.73) but more choice deferral (78.8% vs. 58.8%). Target certainty moderated the effect of assortment size on choice deferral and target uncertainty individuals showed more choice deferral in the large assortments than in the small assortments (82.5% vs. 50.0%), while target certainty individuals had similar choice deferral between different assortment size. Product type didn't moderate the effect of assortment size on choice deferral.  Comparing with prior studies on assortment size, our results suggested that in the online shopping environment, in terms of the attitude level, consumers still preferred large selection set, and the select-satisfaction and the self-confidence were higher than in the small selection set; however, in terms of the behavior level, in big choice set there were more negative buying behavior and consumers preferred to delay purchase. This study explored the choice overload effect and attitude-behavior separation on e-commerce, which had implications for webpage layout.

Keyword选择集大小 目标确定性 产品类型 决策态度 决策行为
Subject Area网络心理学
Source Publication心理科学
Indexed ByCSCD
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding Author陈毅文
First Author AffilicationKey Laboratory of Behavioral Science, CAS
Corresponding Author AffilicationKey Laboratory of Behavioral Science, CAS
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
刘彤,马继伟,李信,等. 选择集大小对网购决策态度和行为的影响[J]. 心理科学,2017,40(2):463-470.
APA 刘彤,马继伟,李信,&陈毅文.(2017).选择集大小对网购决策态度和行为的影响.心理科学,40(2),463-470.
MLA 刘彤,et al."选择集大小对网购决策态度和行为的影响".心理科学 40.2(2017):463-470.
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