The intermediate alternative effect: Considering a small tradeoff increases subsequent willingness to make large tradeoffs.

Gabriele Paolacci, K (Katherine) Burson, S Rick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prior research has consistently demonstrated that people are reluctant to trade a good they own for an alternative good, particularly when the alternative (or ¿target¿) represents a substantial departure from the ¿endowment¿. We demonstrate that the endowment effect can be reduced by first making participants consider trading their endowment for an intermediate alternative (which shares some characteristics of the endowment and some characteristics of the target). We find that this ¿intermediate alternative effect¿ operates primarily by shifting one's reference point in the direction of the target alternative. Even when the intermediate alternative is not adopted, the extent to which one's endowment is treated as a reference point is weakened, which can also facilitate subsequent trading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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