Translated attributes as choice architecture.
Dr. Adrian Camilleri, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, USA
28th Feb 2013 02:30 pm - Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building
The attributes of alternative choice options can be described in different ways. For example, vehicle fuel economy can be expressed as fuel consumption, the cost of fuel, or carbon emitted. Moreover, each translation can be expressed on a contracted scale such as "per week" or an expanded scale such as "per year".
We ran two sets of online studies in which participants chose between vehicles that differed in their tradeoff between price and fuel economy. The experiments manipulated the number and type of translated attributes expressing these two global dimensions. In one set of online experiments, we found that the presentation of these translated attributes in isolation influenced people's choices in predicable ways. In a second set of online experiments, we found that the presentation of these same translated attributes in combination also influenced people's choices in predicable ways. We attribute these effects to a number of psychological phenomena including metric compatibility, anchoring, goal activation, and use of a counting heuristic. The usefulness of translated attributes as a choice architecture tool that can facilitate informed consumer choices is discussed.