The ability to choose can increase satiation

Joseph P Redden, Kelly L. Haws, Jinjie Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The ability to choose should let people create more enjoyable experiences. However, in a set of 5 studies, people who chose repeatedly during ongoing consumption exhibited a greater drop in enjoyment compared with those who received a series of random selections from the same set of liked stimuli. Process evidence indicated that choosing increased satiation because it triggered overall reflections on the repetitive nature of the ongoing consumption experience. Moderating evidence also supported our theoretical account as differences in satiation disappeared when nonchoosers were explicitly cued to think about repetition in the general sense, or when choosers made all of their choices before the onset of repeated consumption. Additional measures and analyses further established that choice set size, the difficulty of choosing, and other alternative accounts could not fully explain the pattern of effects. The paper closes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for understanding the causes of satiation, the consequences of choosing, and improving individuals' experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-200
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Psychological Association.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Costs of choosing
  • Enjoyment
  • Hedonic consumption
  • Satiation


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