Due to its origins in the literature on judgment and decision-making, context effects in marketing are construed exclusively in terms of how choices deviate from utility maximization principles as a function of how choices are presented (e.g., framing, sequence, composition). This limits our understanding of a range of other relevant context effects on choice. This paper broadens the scope of context effects to include social (e.g., with friends or family) and situational factors (e.g., location (home/store), time, weather).We define contexts as any factor that has the potential to shift the choice outcomes by altering the process by which the decision is made. We use this lens to integrate the psychology literature on habitual choice, System I and II decision-making, and a recent stream of empirical work that involves social and situational effects into the scope of context effects. We distinguish between exogenous and endogenous context effects, based on whether the decision-maker chooses the context. We then discuss issues of empirically identifying context effects when using either experimentally generated data or naturally occurring secondary data. We conclude with a discussion of trends and opportunities for new research on context effects.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40547-017-0084-9, hdl.handle.net/1765/115624
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles , ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Customer Needs and Solutions
Thomadsen, R., Rooderkerk, R.P, Amir, O., Arora, N., Bollinger, B., Hansen, K., … Wood, W. (2017). How context affects choice. Customer Needs and Solutions, 5, 3–14. doi:10.1007/s40547-017-0084-9