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The compromise effect can be observed in the consumer’s tendency to avoid extreme ends of the available range when making purchasing decisions. In this video, MARKO SARSTEDT investigates the origins of the compromise effect. Describing an experiment that interrogates the effects of a lowering of cognitive capability on purchasing decisions, Sarstedt argues that rather than involving fast or intuitive decision making, the compromise effect is grounded in deliberate and demanding thought processes. The research provides a platform for further work examining the links between other effects (e.g. the attraction effect, the phantom decoy effect) and cognitive depletion.


Marko Sarstedt is Chaired Professor of Marketing at Ludwig-Maximilians-University München and won the 2018 Research Award. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj. Sarstedt has previously worked at the University of Newcastle (Australia) and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His research focuses on consumer behavior and on the improvement of marketing decision making. The winner of five Emerald Citations of Excellence and two AMS William R. Darden awards, in 2020, Sarstedt was judged the second most influential business researcher in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (F.A.Z.-Ökonomenranking).


Original publication

The Influence of Serotonin Deficiency on Choice Deferral and the Compromise Effect

Lichters Marcel, Brunnlieb Claudia, Nave Gideon, Sarstedt Marko and Vogt Bodo
Journal of Marketing Research
Published in 2016

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