Comparison-induced decoy effects

Jessica M. Choplin, John E. Hummel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extant theories of decoy effects on evaluations of attribute values were assessed with respect to their ability to account for a one-dimensional analogue of the asymmetric dominance effect. Parducci's (1965, 1995) range-frequency theory, Krumhansl's (1978) distance-density model, Tversky's (1977) diagnosticity principle, and reference point theories (e.g., Holyoak & Mah, 1982) were unable to account for this effect. One version of Helson's (1964) adaptation-level theory and our comparison-induced distortion theory (Choplin & Hummel, 2002) were able to account for the qualitative effect. Quantitative fits revealed that comparison-induced distortion theory provides a better account of this effect than does adaptation-level theory. These results suggest that, in some cases, biases created by language-expressible magnitude comparisons mediate the effects of decoys on evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-343
Number of pages12
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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