Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

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Volume 32 Issue 3 (July 2019), Pages 229-372

The impact of bundle comparisons on bundle preference (pages 297-316)

Abstract The bundling literature largely holds that a person's reaction to a given product bundle depends only on the characteristics of the products contained in the bundle. This paper, instead, proposes that people evaluate bundles in reference to other bundles that they have seen. Prior research indicates that people are sensitive to a bundle's “attribute inventory” or the aggregate level of comparable attributes possessed by its constituent products. We show that when people evaluate a bundle, they compare the attribute inventories that it offers to those offered by other bundles that they have seen. The resulting compositional comparisons can occur without changes to the products that comprise the target and contextual bundles, vary by attribute comparability and attentional focus, and coexist with (and at times reverse the effects of) well‐established product‐specific context effects, which are determined solely by the products and their attributes.

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