50 Years of Context Effects: Merging the Behavioral and Quantitative Perspectives

Ioannis Evangelidis, Sudeep Bhatia, Jonathan Levav, Itamar Simonson

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Over the past 50 years, consumer researchers have presented extensive evidence that consumer preference can be swayed by the decision context, particularly the configuration of the choice set. Importantly, behavioral research on context effects has inspired prominent quantitative research on multialternative decision-making published in leading psychology, management, economics, and general interest journals. While both streams of research seem to agree that context effects are an important research area, there has been relatively limited interaction, communication, and collaboration between the two research camps. In this article, we seek to initiate an active dialogue between the two sides. We begin by providing a critical overview of the two literatures on context effects, discussing both their strengths and weaknesses, as well as disparities and complementarities. Here, we place particular emphasis on deepening consumer researchers’ understanding of context effects by drawing on prominent quantitative research published in non-marketing journals over the last decades. Importantly, we provide a roadmap for the future that can inspire further research and potential collaborations between the two camps, overcoming silos in knowledge creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024


  • consumer choice
  • context dependence
  • context effects
  • multialternative models
  • preferential choice


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