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Two-stage decisions increase preference for hedonic options

Bhargave, Rajesh, Chakravarti, Amitav ORCID: 0009-0001-1805-183X and Guha, Abhijit (2015) Two-stage decisions increase preference for hedonic options. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 130. pp. 123-135. ISSN 0749-5978

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.06.003


When choosing from multiple options, decision-makers may directly choose an option (single-stage decision), or initially shortlist a subset of options, and then choose an option from this shortlist (two-stage decision). Past work suggests that these two decision formats should lead to the same final choice when information about the choice alternatives is held constant. In contrast, this research demonstrates a novel effect: two-stage decisions increase preference for hedonic (vs. utilitarian) options. A regulatory focus account explains this effect. In a two-stage process, after shortlisting, decision-makers feel that they have sufficiently advanced their prevention goals, and this reduces their prevention focus during the final choice stage. Reduced prevention focus, in turn, enhances hedonic preference. Four studies across different decision contexts illustrate this effect and support the underlying process mechanism. The findings suggest that the formal structure of a decision (single-stage vs. two-stage) leads to systematic differences in decision-makers’ choices.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 16:21
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:06

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