The Upscaling Effect: How the Decision Context Influences Tradeoffs between Desirability and Feasibility

Ioannis Evangelidis, Jonathan Levav, Itamar Simonson

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

1 Citació (Scopus)


Purchase decisions typically involve tradeoffs between attributes associated with desirability (e.g., quality) and feasibility (e.g., price). In this article, we examine how the decision context impacts consumers' preference between a high-desirability (HD) option and a high-feasibility (HF) alternative. Nineteen studies demonstrate a novel context effect, the "upscaling effect,"whereby introducing a symmetrically dominated decoy option to a set (i.e., an option that is inferior compared to all alternatives in the set) leads to an increase in the choice share of the HD option. To account for the upscaling effect, we advance a two-stage model of consumer decision-making for decisions that involve tradeoffs between desirability and feasibility. According to our model, when the decision context provides a reason for choosing either option, such as when a decoy option is added to the set, consumers prioritize reasons that support choice of HD options over HF alternatives. Our model can explain the upscaling effect, as well as other findings reported in the literature, such as asymmetric attraction effects (Heath and Chatterjee 1995 and asymmetric sales promotion effects (Blattberg and Wisniewski 1989). Furthermore, the upscaling effect holds important managerial implications because it provides an effective way to increase sales of high-end products.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)492-509
Nombre de pàgines18
RevistaJournal of Consumer Research
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 d’oct. 2023


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