Choice Criteria


Choice criteria are the specific attributes or consequences used by consumers to evaluate and choose from a set of alternatives.

Choice alternatives are the different available options considered by consumers in decision making – usually the products or brands considered for purchase.

In evaluating alternatives, the Compensatory Rule suggests that a consumer will select the alternative with the highest overall evaluation on a set of choice criteria. Criteria evaluations are done separately and combined arithmetically such that positive evaluations can offset or balance (compensate for) negative evaluations. This is also called compensatory integration procedurecompensatory model, and compensatory process.

Noncompensatory rules suggest that positive and negative consequences of alternatives do not compensate for each other. These include:

The Conjunctive Rule – suggests that consumers establish a minimum acceptable level for each choice criterion and accept an alternative only if it equals or exceeds the minimum cutoff level for every criterion.

The Disjunctive Rule – suggests that consumers establish acceptable standards for each criterion and accept an alternative if it exceeds the standard on at least one criterion.

The Lexicographic Rule suggests that consumers rank choice criteria from most to least important and choose the best alternative on the most important criterion.



  1. ^ American Marketing Association, AMA Dictionary.
  2.  Universal Marketing Dictionary Project, 2024.

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