Asymmetric Dominance Effect Generalizations and Lessons
Asymmetric Dominance: Generalizations and Lessons Joel Huber-Duke University An example from the marketplace What instigated the initial study? Duncan Luce argued that only regularity had not been violated Regularity specifies that you cannot increase the probability of choosing an item by adding an
item to the set John Payne, Chris Puto and I then designed a task that combined many known context effects to violate regularity We did not know whether it would work; in hindsight, it was a low probability experiment Example of Asymmetric Dominance Effect For a big dinner you are indifferent between these two restaurants Ambience
+ (Q=***, A=****) 50% Shr + (Q=****, A=***) 50% Shr Food Quality Example of Asymmetric Dominance Effect What happens if we add a restaurant with great ambience but lower quality? Ambience
+ (Q=**, A=****) 2% Shr + (Q=***, A=****) 60% Shr + (Q=****, A=***) 38% Shr Food Quality How robust is the effect?
Birds do it, bees do it Consumers in markets choosing beans do it Works with real gambles Works with complex stimuli Attributes do not have to be common, or even continuous, only ordered What makes the asymmetric dominance effect stronger?
Accountability, need to justify Less processing capacity or time pressure Greater attribute knowledge Presence of a no-choice option Choices over ratings
What makes it go away? Repeated choices within a category Does not happen in choice based conjoint Asymmetric dominance requires current construction of preferences Lack of transparency in the dominance relationship Preference ambiguity within attributes Difficulty realizing one alternative is dominant
General theoretical approaches Attribute importance (weight shift) Market inference Range-importance effect Position of alternatives change (perceptual shift) Anchoring on the dominated alternative Range-frequency mechanism Utility from dominance (value shift) Conscious-articulate
Automatic-inarticulate Example of Asymmetric Dominance Effect What happens if we add a restaurant with great ambience but lower quality? Ambience + (Q=**, A=****) 2% Shr + (Q=***, A=****) 60% Shr
+ (Q=****, A=***) 38% Shr Food Quality General theoretical results Most hypothesized effects matter, but differ in their magnitude and generality Attribute weight effects are hardest to derive and prove (little carryover) Perceptual effects matter, mostly when
perceptual judgments (ratings) are evoked For choice, direct short-term, automatic utility from dominance appears to be the most important process Remaining theoretical questions Impact differs by attribute usedhigh priced decoys are far more effective than low priced ones Detailed processing accountwhat happens to search after discovering a
dominance relationship Unified response surface model-integrating dominated, compromise and phantom effects. Asymmetric dominancemore than a quarter century old! Asymmetric dominance has come of age as a classic context effect, like loss aversion and framing Now assumed, used as a manipulation to bring about preference for an item
Schemer-schema: How much do people use ASD to affect others choices? What is their reaction to such manipulation? Why asymmetric dominance spawned so much research Effect is robust and general, but perplexing Easy to conceptualizetwo dimensions, decoy, target, competitor provide a good story Easy to run, multiple categories, quick choices Open-ended conceptually: Expands into different
tasks, compromise and phantom alternatives Open-ended theoretically. It can be used to validate many different theories Final Lessons Conduct research in areas where the surprise coefficient is large Simple story, clear characters Domain not explored Relevant to markets
Do not try to resolve all the issuesleave room for other questions and researchers Be alert for anomalies, public challenges, and emperors lacking clothes!
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