Choice Variety and Perceived Expertise
People often infer expertise from the choice of unique, rare, or sophisticated options. But might the mere level of choice variety also serve as a signal of expertise, and if so, how? Three experiments show that the relationship between choice variety and perceived expertise depends on the perceiver's own level of expertise. Experts in a given domain perceive less varied selections as indicative of greater expertise in that domain, and consequently choose less variety to portray themselves as experts. In contrast, novices perceive more variety as indicative of expertise and choose accordingly when they wish to appear as experts.
Michal Maimaran, Aner Sela, Sian Morgan, Liat Hadar
Maimaran, Michal, Aner Sela, Sian Morgan, and Liat Hadar. 2017. Choice Variety and Perceived Expertise.