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Previous studies support the existence of two phenomena: choice overload, where more choices have negative effects for a consumer; and the pictorial superiority effect, where people prefer pictorial stimuli as opposed to written words. Townsend and Kahn (2014) studied these effects by examining different sized choice sets and stimuli types, specifically pictorial (visual) and verbal (word-based). In this study, I extend the work of Townsend and Kahn (2014) by introducing a combination presentation of verbal and visual elements in addition to the pictorial and verbal presentations studied before. This study examines the effect of presentation of options (pictorial, verbal or combination) and choice set size (8 or 27) on choice overload, measured through perceived variety and perceived complexity, and likelihood to opt out of choice. I anticipate to replicate the findings of Townsend and Kahn (2014). I also anticipate that participants will be more likely to opt out of choice for combination presentation of pictorial and word based stimuli when presented with a choice set of 27 options in comparison to 8 options.

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choice overload, pictorial superiority effect, variety, complexity

The Effect of Item Presentation (Pictorial, Verbal, and Combination) on Choice Overload and Tendency to Opt-Out of Choice