Transparency and Product Choice

Project summary

In many of today’s online choice environments, consumers are exposed to a vast amount of (imperfect) information about products and producers. This complexity is accompanied by increasing levels of uncertainty (e.g., about the quality of products or the motives of sellers). Making information more transparent promises to reduce this uncertainty and improve consumer decision making. However, transparency can also induce information overload or information avoidance on the part of consumers. The goal of Project A05 is to investigate the effects of transparency on behavioral biases and product choice. More specifically, A05 aims to examine the effects of transparency related to (i) seller costs and pricing, (ii) how products are constructed, and (iii) the choice interface (e.g., who or what provides recommendations) on consumer decision making.