Australasian Mathematical Psychology Conference 2019

Consumer choices under time pressure

Jon-Paul Cavallaro
University of Newcastle
Guy Hawkins
University of Newcastle
Scott Brown
University of Newcastle

Hypothetical consumer choice scenarios provide insight into a consumer’s decision-making process when purchasing products or services. The consumer’s choices elicited in these scenarios are assumed to indicate the consumer’s subjective value or utility of a product or service. One technique used to represent hypothetical consumer scenarios is the discrete choice experiment (DCE). DCEs are a quantitative technique used to capture consumer preferences for multi-attribute products or services. Historically, DCEs account for choices only. We have extended on DCE research by including a response time measure and a time pressure manipulation to evaluate the effect of decision time on the utility inferred from consumers’ choices. This extension is motivated by findings from the speeded decision-making literature that tells us of the importance of decision time and the impact that time pressure has on choice-related model parameters. Across four hypothetical choice scenarios, we found that the time available to make multi-attribute decisions impacts the utility that is inferred from those decisions. The utilities inferred from multi-attribute decisions are inherently tied to the time taken to make those decisions, which has not been widely acknowledged in the DCE literature.