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Fleischmann, Marvin (2015): Contrast and Assimilation in Consumer Software Selection Decisions – An Experimental Study. 21st Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015, Puerto Rico, August 13-15, 2015. In: AMCIS 2015 Proceedings,

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Software selection research has so far mainly focused on corporations and often assumed a rational evaluation of selection criteria. Research on consumers’ software selection is still scarce. However, findings from outside IS indicate that consumers’ software selection decisions might be biased by the choice alternatives among which software is selected. In an experiment, this study investigates if consumers’ selection decisions for software package variants are subject to contrast or assimilation and how this affects purchase decisions. In conjoint-type tasks, subjects evaluate software packages alongside other package-variants with reduced functionality and price. Consumers are found to be susceptible to contrast effects when selecting software. They have a higher likelihood to purchase a software package, when they choose from a set of alternatives that also includes package-variants with reduced functionality. This positive effect disappears when the price of the less functional packages is reduced sufficiently. Implications for research and practice are derived.

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