Contextual effects and psychological features influencing decoy options: A review and research agenda

David Gonzalez-Prieto, Oriol Lordan


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop future research proposals aiming to contribute the extant theory which explains decoy effects.

Design/methodology/approach: Firstly, a review of the existing literature about decoy options and its interactions with contextual effects that could affect their performance is presented. Next, two research proposals are presented: the introduction of a double decoy choice set and the evaluation of decoy effect under different levels of cognitive effort in a purchasing process.

Findings and Originality/value: For the research proposal concerning double decoy choice sets, different hypothesis are introduced based on the different theories aiming to explain the effect of simple decoy choice sets. This hypothesis predict different outcomes for the same experimental design, fact that could provide further support for at least one of the current explanations for decoy effects. Regarding the effect of decoy options under different levels of cognitive effort, implications for experimental design for sequential purchasing process are expected. Especially for those designed with complex options, with many steps or high number of options.

Originality/value: Two new research proposal approaches are presented in order enhance the current theory. Moreover, both have managerial implications concerning the real usage of decoy options in reduced choice sets as well as in sequential purchasing processes.


decoy effect, contextual effects, double decoy, cognitive effort

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2021

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience