Inferiority, Not Similarity of the Decoy to Target, Is What Drives the Transfer of Attention Underlying the Attraction Effect: Evidence From an Eye-Tracking Study with Real Choices

Michał Król , Magdalena Król


Recent studies reported that the attraction effect, whereby inferior decoys cause choice reversals, fails to replicate if the choice options are presented in a pictorial rather than abstract numerical form. We argue that the pictorial setting makes the similarity between decoy and target salient, whereas the abstract one emphasizes the inferiority relationship between them, crucial for the effect to occur. Thus, we used a novel experimental design in which both similarity and inferiority are equally easy to judge, their relative strength simple to manipulate, and choices incentivized rather than hypothetical. Using eye-tracking, we found that both the transfer of attention toward an undesirable target and choice reversal likelihood increase when the decoy is more strongly inferior but less similar to the target. This suggests that a key mechanism in the attraction effect is that, by virtue of its inferiority, a decoy projects a spotlight of attention toward the target, making it more attractive.
Author Michał Król
Michał Król,,
, Magdalena Król (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Magdalena Król,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
Journal seriesJournal of Neuroscience Psychology and Economics, ISSN 1937-321X, (N/A 40 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.8
Keywords in Englisheye-tracking, choice reversal, attraction effect
ASJC Classification2802 Behavioral Neuroscience; 2805 Cognitive Neuroscience; 2001 Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous); 3202 Applied Psychology; 1401 Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous); 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; 3206 Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Languageen angielski
inferiority_tekst.pdf 422.86 KB
Additional file
inferiority_oswiadczenie.pdf 416.06 KB
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 0.526; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 0.824 (2) - 2017=1.265 (5)
Citation count*6 (2021-02-23)
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