Partitioning the choice task makes Starbucks coffee taste better

Dorn, Michael; Messner, Claude; Wänke, Michaela (2016). Partitioning the choice task makes Starbucks coffee taste better. Journal of Marketing Behavior, 1(3-4), pp. 363-384. now publishers 10.1561/107.00000023

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Consumers are often less satisfied with a product chosen from a large assortment than a limited one. Experienced choice difficulty presumably causes this as consumers have to engage in a great number of individual comparisons. In two studies we tested whether partitioning the choice task so that consumers decided sequentially on each individual attribute may provide a solution. In a Starbucks coffee house, consumers who chose from the menu rated the coffee as less tasty when chosen from a large rather than a small assortment. However, when the consumers chose it by sequentially deciding about one attribute at a time, the effect reversed. In a tailored-suit customization, consumers who chose multiple attributes at a time were less satisfied with their suit, compared to those who chose one attribute at a time. Sequential attribute-based processing proves to be an effective strategy to reap the benefits of a large assortment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management > Consumer Behavior

UniBE Contributor:

Dorn, Michael Hans, Messner, Claude Mathias


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations




now publishers




Sabrina Geissbühler

Date Deposited:

02 May 2016 10:43

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:53

Publisher DOI:


Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Choice overload effect, Overchoice, Too-much-choice, Sequential attribute-based processing, Customized decision




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