Faculty Publications


Decision experience in hyperchoice: the role of numeracy and age differences

Document Type



Age, Choice overload, Consumer choice, Gamble choice, Hyperchoice, Numeracy

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current Psychology


Due to new technologies, a profusion of products is released onto store shelves and the Internet, resulting in a special choice condition termed hyperchoice. Past research on whether hyperchoice deteriorates decision experience is mixed. The present study hypothesizes the experience in the scenario of hyperchoice may be moderated by individual characteristics, including numeracy and age differences. A total of 116 older adults and 112 younger adults were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk. Along with the Rasch-based numeracy scale, each participant completed a consumer and a gamble choice task. In both tasks, the number of options being presented to participants was manipulated to create a hyperchoice condition (sixteen options) and a simple-choice condition (four options). Dependent variables were post-choice difficulty and satisfaction. Multiple regressions were performed with SPSS 24.0 to test the hypothesis. As a result, hyperchoice was related to greater decision difficulty in both choice tasks. Moreover, there was an interaction between numeracy and hyperchoice in the gamble task. Specifically, whereas higher numerate participants’ experienced difficulty and satisfaction were relatively stable between the two choice conditions, lower numerate participants experienced more difficulty and dissatisfaction in the hyperchoice condition than in the simple-choice condition. Additionally, compared to younger adults, older adults reported greater decision difficulty and lower decision satisfaction, regardless of choice condition. The study supported the notion that the specific effect of hyperchoice was moderated by individual factors. The study implied merchants should adopt strategies to ease decision experience and advocated for numeracy education.


Department of Psychology

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa