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Title: Illusion of variety : lower readability enhances perceived variety
Authors: Huang, ZQ
Kwong, JYY
Keywords: Readability
Variety perceptions
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: International journal of research in marketing, Sept. 2016, v. 33, no. 3, p. 674-687 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of research in marketing 
Abstract: Previous research has devoted much attention to the direct consequences of an assortment's content (e.g., actual number of different options) and structural features (e.g., organization of an assortment) on perceptions of variety. The present research, however, shows that a superficial feature, i.e., font readability of a menu or catalog, can influence variety perceptions even when the actual content or structure of an assortment remains unchanged. Four studies reveal that perceived variety is higher when the menu or catalog of an assortment is more difficult to read. This readability effect stems from the subjective interpretation of the feeling of difficulty. That is, consumers often endorse a lay belief that it is more difficult to make choices when they face a greater variety of options. For this reason, the readability effect is attenuated when this belief is (chronically or momentarily) less accessible. The increase in perceived variety induced by low readability can boost satisfaction with a store when consumers have a goal of seeking variety. Our research contributes to the understanding of determinants of variety perceptions and the consequences of metacognitive difficulty.
ISSN: 0167-8116
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2015.11.006
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