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|Title:||A Love/Hate Relationship with Choices: The Effect of Number of Alternatives and Choice Freedom on Post-Choice Satisfaction|
|Abstract:||Previous research suggests that people are attracted to free choice over forced choice when choice options are few (known as choice bias), but people are attracted to forced choice over free choice when options are excessive (known as choice overload). This study includes choice overload and choice bias groups in a single experiment and also includes separate conditions for free choice, forced choice, and forced choice with the option to swap as previous experiments have failed to do. This study analyzes the effect of choice situation (choice overload and choice bias) and choice type (free choice, forced choice, and forced choice + swap) on post-choice satisfaction. First, it is hypothesized that in choice bias situations, people will be more satisfied post-choice when given free choice than forced choice or forced choice + swap. Second, it is hypothesized that in choice overload situations, people will be more satisfied post-choice when given forced choice than free choice or forced choice + swap. With a 2 (choice situation) x 3 (choice type) between-subjects design, each of the six groups comprised of 20 participants (120 participants total). In the choice bias conditions, participants were presented with three chocolates and either given free choice, forced choice, or forced choice with the option to swap with another chocolate. In the choice overload conditions, participants were presented with ten chocolates. Post-choice satisfaction was immediately measured. A two-way between-groups ANOVA indicated that there was only a main effect for choice type. Therefore, in support of hypothesis 1, in choice bias situations, participants were more satisfied post-choice when given free choice than forced choice; however, no significant difference was found between free choice and forced choice + swap groups as predicted. Hypothesis 2 was not supported; in choice overload situations, people were not significantly more satisfied post-choice when given forced choice than free choice or forced choice + swap. Together, the results indicate that people have a love/hate relationship with choice; people “love” free choice and the ability to swap after being given a forced choice, and “hate” forced choice regardless of how many options are available.|
|Type of Material:||Princeton University Senior Theses|
|Appears in Collections:||Psychology, 1930-2016|
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