Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

General Honors



First Advisor

Dr. Donald Lichtenstein

Second Advisor

Dr. E Christian Kopff

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrea Feldman


Prior research has shown that the introduction of an irrelevant third choice to a two-choice set affects consumers’ preferences between the preexisting two choices. In addition to compromise effect, which denotes that a choice gains share when it became the intermediate rather than extreme option in a three-choice set, attraction effect suggests that adding an unattractive dominated option enhances the attractiveness of the option it most resembles and increases that option’s choice share. However, research has shown that attraction effect does not typically occur when one of the product attributes is not represented numerically. Furthermore, no research has looked into the source of numeric ratings (e.g., product quality ratings) and how that moderates such effects with different types of product category. This study examined how the factors of source of ratings (user vs. expert ratings) and product categories (horizontally vs. vertically differentiated product categories) moderate attraction and compromise effects with the cooperation of real-life experimental stimuli.