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Abstract

When consumers make a decision under preference uncertainty, they often select the compromise choice. Since the compromise effect of the middle option stems from the relational properties of the choice alternatives, an information format compatible with their characteristics makes the middle option more salient and attractive. Focusing on three studies, this article demonstrates that the middle option is (1) more attractive when presented in the middle position; (2) more attractive when information is presented jointly rather than separately; and (3) most attractive when presented in an information display board format, less attractive in a list by attribute condition, and least attractive in a list by alternative condition. These findings imply that information processing strategies and information format-option characteristics compatibility work in tandem. These three studies thereby show that the information format-option characteristics compatibility effect is robust and that such compatibility effect is not due to different information processing strategies, which makes these results meaningful for marketing practice. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.