Consistent or not
The role of product visibility in sequential decisions 

Dikla Perez, Yael Steinhart, Amir Grinstein

October  2014

Introduction

Literature review

A decision made as part of a sequence is affected by earlier decisions.

Cornelissen, Bashshur, Rode, & Le Menestrel, 2013 Freedman & Fraser, 1966

Pending problem

Research on consistency in sequence of decisions has yielded mixed findings. 

Freedman & Fraser, 1966.   Mazar & Zhong, 2010

Research conclusion

Product visibility affects consistent behavior in a sequence of decisions

Our Hypothesis

When the product involved in an individual's first decision is high in consumption visibility, the individual's likelihood of engaging in consistent behavior is enhanced because concerns about social perception are elevated. In contrast, when the individual perceives the product involved in the first decision as less visible, concerns of appearing stable to others are less relevant, and thus the likelihood of engaging in consistent behavior is diluted.

Studies
Study I - Manipulating visibility by using different products

IV:  High vs. low in visibility and social vs. self-expressive product. 2x2, between subjects design.

DV: Preferences toward self or social expressive of a music CD.

Study II - Manipulating visibility level of a product

IV: High vs. low in visibility and social vs. self-expressive product. 2x2, between subjects design.

DV: Preferences toward self or social expressive of a t-shirt.

Conclusion

This project may shed light on the contradicting results of past research on consistent sequential behavior. Results present initial support for the moderating role of product visibility in determining an individual's behavior in a sequence of decisions in the context of expressed social identity.