Mere Position Effect in Booking Hotels Online

Eyal Ert, Aliza Fleischer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


When travelers book hotels online, they are typically provided with a list of relevant hotels. Although presenting hotels on the screen in a list format seems appropriate for organizing the information, it creates a new (spurious) attribute for them: their position on the list. We tested experimentally whether the hotel’s position on the list affects its likelihood of being selected. Results revealed a nonlinear effect of hotel position on the list on choice: hotels that were listed at the top and bottom of the list were more likely to be chosen than those listed in the middle. This study suggests that even trivial web design choices, such as the choice of presenting data in lists, might result in nontrivial consequences on the behavior of prospective customers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © The Author(s) 2014.


  • decision making
  • hotel choice
  • online booking
  • primacy/recency effect


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