Title

Adding Small Differences can Increase Similarity and Choice

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2-2013

Abstract

Similarity plays a critical role in many judgments and choices. Traditional models of similarity posit that increasing the number of differences between objects cannot increase judged similarity between them. In contrast to these previous models, the present research shows that introducing a small difference in an attribute that previously was identical across objects can increase perceived similarity between those objects. We propose an explanation based on the idea that small differences draw more attention than identical attributes do and that people’s perceptions of similarity involve averaging attributes that are salient. We provide evidence that introducing small differences between objects increases perceived similarity. We also show that an increase in similarity decreases the difficulty of choice and the likelihood that a choice will be deferred.

Keywords

similarity, decision making, judgment, choice difficulty

Discipline

Business | Psychology

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Psychological Science

Volume

24

Issue

2

First Page

225

Last Page

229

ISSN

0956-7976

Identifier

10.1177/0956797612457388

Publisher

SAGE