Why People Buy

Sheena S. Iyengar of Columbia University and Mark R. Lepper of Stanford University conducted a study of jam shopping at an upscale grocery store in California. They set up a jam tasting booth that displayed either 6 or 24 varieties of jam to see what consumers were more attracted to and if there was a difference in purchasing behavior. Shoppers were 62 percent female and 38 percent male. The 24 jams included exotic flavors and did not include traditionally popular flavors such as strawberry. To be sure that the 6 jams weren’t jams that people would prefer and skew the results, the researchers did a survey of Stanford students beforehand and asked them to rate the 24 jams from most to least preferred. They selected two of the most ...

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