Decoy effects and attribute-level inferences

Jerel E. Slaughter, Evan F. Sinar, Scott Highhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A decoy effect occurs when the addition of an interior choice alternative changes the preference relations among the other alternatives in the set. Whereas many authors have suggested that the decoy effect has considerable relevance to applied decision-making contexts, others have suggested that the phenomenon may not be found in situations more realistic than those used in typical decoy experiments. The authors examined whether the effect would generalize to situations in which decision makers are required to infer attribute values. The results of the current study showed that even when no numerical attribute information is presented, decoy effects can be quite strong. These findings suggest that decoy effects may indeed be generalizable to realistic choice situations requiring attribute-level inferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-828
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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