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EMAC 2022 Annual

Information Processing Patterns during Choice: The Effect of Choice Design Complexity and Product Category Involvement on Attribute Non-Attendance

Published: May 24, 2022


Alaa Elgayar, Institute of Marketing, School of Business and Economics, Humboldt University Berlin; Narine Yegoryan, Humboldt University Berlin


Experimental studies demonstrate that individuals may ignore some product attributes when making choices. Such behavior may be due to limited cognitive capacity and information overload or consumers may find some attributes not relevant. This selective information processing is often referred to as attribute non-attendance (ANA) and has received great interest in recent years. However, few studies have ventured into explicitly examining drivers of ANA. This study investigates the effects of choice design complexity and product category involvement on ANA using a 2x2 between-subject design, where two aspects of complexity (number of attributes and alternatives) are experimentally manipulated, and product category involvement is measured on individual-level. We hypothesize that an increase in complexity and decrease in involvement adversely affect attendance. Our results confirm complexity-induced ANA for one design dimension and a positive effect of involvement on attendance.