Quantity bias in comparison-shopping of multi-item baskets

Ross Niswanger, Eric Walden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Comparison-shopping applications are widespread and have been the subject of considerable research and development. There has also been widespread recognition that people are predictably irrational when making shopping decisions. In this work, we combine these two facts to propose a new type of predicable irrational behavior that has important implications for comparison-shopping applications that now utilize crowdsourcing to increase the information provided about sellers in these electronic marketplaces. In a series of three studies we demonstrate that, even after controlling for relative and absolute savings, the number of items in a shopping trip is an important consideration in the decision to make a trip to more than one store. This is true of both actual trips in physical shopping in the real world, and virtual trips to other vendors in online shopping. We term this effect quantity bias.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0263406
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2022


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