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Past studies have largely focused on how maximizers versus satisficers choose among multiple products within a given consideration set. By contrast, our research focuses on how and why maximizers evaluate an individual product based on a salient characteristic—the number of features that it has. Across two studies, we find that maximizers evaluate products more favorably than satisficers when they have many features (i.e., they are “feature-rich”), but not when they have few features (i.e., they are “feature-poor”). Further, we outline the process underlying this effect: Maximizers are more likely than satisficers to perceive feature-rich (vs. feature-poor) products as a means of signaling status to others. We additionally identify a boundary condition supporting this proposed theoretical process. Specifically, we demonstrate that when maximizers no longer perceive feature-rich products as status signals, they do not evaluate them more favorably than satisficers.
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- If it has lots of bells and whistles, it must be the best: how maximizers and satisficers evaluate feature-rich versus feature-poor products
Daniel C. Brannon
Brandon W. Soltwisch
- Springer US
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