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Choice Overload or Time Stress: What Determines Purchase Decisions for Airline Tickets?

Mahmood, A., Guo, B. & Sismeiro, C. S. (2016). Choice Overload or Time Stress: What Determines Purchase Decisions for Airline Tickets?. Advances in Consumer Research, 44, pp. 548-550.


Previous research has identified choice overload as a potential cause for purchase deferral. Researchers suggest that the decision difficulties and frustration consumers experience when processing significant amounts of information can lead to decision avoidance and have also found that, consistent with such explanation, that time constraints act as a moderator: approaching deadlines seems to amplify choice overload due to an increased cognitive burden. Identifying moderators of choice overload and discovering contexts in which choice overload occurs is a promising research direction and more importantly it is still unclear whether this phenomenon exists in real business contexts. With the present study, we address this gap and study the interaction between assortment size and time constraints in a purchase context dominated by uncertainty. We conducted two studies to investigate how number of options and time pressure influence purchase decisions. Past research in time effects vary in understanding of time pressure and focus on either real decision deadlines (physical time) or subjective feeling of pressure associated with time (sense of urgency or psychological time). We test both the moderating effect of physical time and psychological time and compare their impact.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 Association for Consumer Research.
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
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