Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Monica Das


Although standard choice theory argues that consumers benefit from large assortments, choice overload theory argues that consumers instead face unexpectedly demotivating outcomes from having too many options. This investigation uses a conceptual framework to compare consumer purchasing decisions for different types of products to see whether consumers face choice overload in a similar or different fashion. Results reveal that for products such as food, electronics, and investments, consumers experience choice overload when assortments are large and when presentation of options are in a difficult-to-comprehend format. Luxury products do not seem to follow this pattern, however. Businesses and policymakers should take note of these findings and create choice formats which aim to reduce the cognitive effort consumers require to make purchasing decisions in order to reduce consumers’ experience of choice overload.