Current research on choice overload has been mainly conducted with choice options not associated with specific brands. This study investigates whether the presence of brand names in the choice set affects the occurrence of choice overload. Across four studies, we find that when choosing among an overabundance of alternatives, participants express more positive feelings (i.e., higher satisfaction/confidence, lower regret and difficulty) when all the options of the choice set are associated with familiar brands, rather than unfamiliar brands or no brand at all. We also find that choice overload only appears in the absence of brand names, but disappears when all options contain brand names—either familiar or unfamiliar. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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