This article contrasts consumer choice processing of single products from different categories (noncomparable alternatives) with the processing of multiple products from different categories (product category alternatives). It is unclear whether choosing among single or multiple alternatives from different product categories will drastically affect choice processing. Theoretically, the processing of product categories should be more hierarchical or top-down, and the processing of noncomparables should be more constructive or bottom-up. The results reported here support the theoretical predictions and demonstrate the perceptual and processing differences between the two types of choices.
Johnson, M. D. (1989). The differential processing of product category and noncomparable choice alternatives [Electronic version]. Journal of Consumer Research, 21(3), 300-309. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/429/