Combining conceptual perspectives from emerging research on COVID-19, safety-seeking motivations, and extremeness aversion in choice (i.e., compromise effects), we examine how and why the perceived threat of COVID-19 affects consumers’ choice and decision making in the hotel and restaurant domains. Across seven studies (two studies from secondary data sets and five experimental studies), we provide novel evidence that the perceived threat or threat salience of COVID-19 amplifies the general tendency to select compromise options, avoiding extreme ones, within a choice set. We highlight the role of safety-seeking motivations as the underlying mechanism in the relationship between perceived threat and extremeness aversion in choice. We further document a boundary condition that the extremeness aversion effect is stronger for leisure travelers than for business travelers.
- compromise effect
- extremeness aversion
- leisure versus business travel
- safety seeking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management