MENU

Research Archive

The Mere Categorization Effect: How the Presence of Categories Increases Choosers' Perceptions of Assortment Variety and Outcome Satisfaction

Cassie Mogilner, Tamar Rudnick, Sheena Iyengar

Publication type: Journal article

Research Archive Topic: Leadership

Abstract

What is the effect of option categorization on choosers' satisfaction? A combination of field and laboratory experiments reveals that the mere presence of categories, irrespective of their content, positively influences the satisfaction of choosers who are unfamiliar with the choice domain. This "mere categorization effect" is driven by a greater number of categories signaling greater variety amongst the available options, which allows for a sense of self-determination from choice. This effect, however, is attenuated among choosers who are familiar with the choice domain, who do not rely on the presence of categories to perceive the variety available.
Download PDF
View Ideas at Work: Feature

Citation

Mogilner, Cassie, Tamar Rudnick, and Sheena Iyengar. "The Mere Categorization Effect: How the Presence of Categories Increases Choosers' Perceptions of Assortment Variety and Outcome Satisfaction." Journal of Consumer Research 35, no. 2 (August 2008): 202-215.


Each author name for a Columbia Business School faculty member is linked to a faculty research page, which lists additional publications by that faculty member.

Each topic is linked to an index of publications on that topic.