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Procedure. Each participant received a booklet and was told to follow the instructions closely.

Instructions on the front page explained that this was a grocery study about choosing brands of microwave popcorn. Participants were told to imagine that they were interested in purchasing microwave popcorn and that they were standing in a supermarket aisle and examining brands of popcorn. On the following page, they received attribute descriptions about three brands—Brand A, Brand B, and Brand C, either the alignable set or the nonalignable set. For half of the participants, one of the three brands (Brand C) had a “tag” pasted over it which read “Sold Out.” For the other half of the participants, all three brands were available. Participants were asked, of the brands available to them, which would they choose. On the following page, participants completed a series of questions designed to measure their satisfaction with the decision process (Fitzsimons, Greenleaf,&Lehmann, 1997). These items were as follows (all items have endpoints 1 5 strongly agree, 10 5 strongly disagree, unless otherwise noted): (1) I found the process of deciding which product to buy frustrating; (2) Several good options were available for me to choose between; (3) How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your experience of deciding which product option to choose? (endpoints 15extremely satisfied, 10 5 extremely dissatisfied); (4) I thought the choice selection was good; (5) I would be happy to choose from the same set of product options on my next purchase occasion; and (6) I found the process of deciding which product to buy interesting. Finally, participants were debriefed. Results A choice-process satisfaction index was constructed by averaging the six items (Cronbach’s a 5 0.82). In addition to the reported six-item composite

. F(3.3%.73. p . 1. conforming to our stimuli set-up that each brand should be equally attractive (nonalignable/C unavailable: A 5 49%. The index range was from 1 to 10. and 6) and found no substantial differences between the full six-item and the three-item composite measures.6%.05.2 and are shown in Fig.3%. . The fact that brand C was not chosen more often than the other brands in the available conditions suggests that the differential effect of satisfaction between alignability conditions in Fig. as were the main effects of availability F(1. F(1. with higher numbers indicating greater levels of satisfaction.8%.48. a planned contrast between conditions showed that there was a significant decrease in choice-process satisfaction due . The omnibus model was significant. B 5 46. p . The choice share data were almost equally distributed among the brands in each condition. 183) 5 5. 183) 5 6. The analysis also revealed a two-way interaction between availability and difference type. Thus we report only the six-item measure. F(1. . 1 is not contingent upon the choice of brand C.1%.4 to a low of 5.05. alignable/available A 5 34. A 2 3 2 between-subjects ANOVA was performed on the choice-process satisfaction scores with factors (i) Difference Type and (ii) Availability. The mean levels of satisfaction ranged across conditions from a high of 6. C 5 37%). B 5 51%. 183) 5 4. 3.7%. . p . p . alignable/C unavailable: A 5 53. B 5 28. As predicted. The main effect of availability showed significantly lower levels of satisfaction for participants who had their choice sets restricted by receiving an unavailable option. and difference type. The main effect of difference type demonstrated significantly higher levels of satisfaction for participants who chose from sets that had alignable differences (venus nonalignable attributes). we also computed a three-item general satisfaction measure (Items 1. B 5 31.01. nonalignable/available: A 5 33.19.01. 183) 5 9. C 5 35.32.measure.3%.

p .to the presence of an unavailable option for the alignable condition but not for the nonalignable condition. . .29.29). F(1. 183) 5 12. 183) 5 9. 1. 1. Choice-process satisfaction as a function of attribute alignability and option limitation. 183) .01.01.85. F(1.47 due to limitation. FIG. satisfaction was significantly higher in the alignable condition than in the nonalignable condition when all options were available (M 5 6. M 5 5. In the alignable condition.80. mean satisfaction decreased from 6. Finally. . In the nonalignable condition. p .40 to 5.40 vs M 5 5. satisfaction ratings were approximately equal between those who received an unavailable option and those who did not. F(1.21 versus M 5 5.