Decision makers have a variety of heuristics at their disposal when they make choices. One of these effort-reducing heuristics is referred to as elimination-by-aspects. When it is applied, decision makers gradually reduce the number of alternatives in a choice set, starting with the most important one. One cue is evaluated at a time until fewer and fewer alternatives remain in the set of available options (Tversky, 1972). For example, a traveler may first compare a selection of hotels at a target destination on the basis of classification, eliminating all hotels with fewer than three stars. The person may then reduce the choice set further by walking distance from the beach, followed by guest reviews, etc, until only one option remains.


Tversky, A. (1972). Elimination by aspects: A theory of choice. Psychological Review, 79, 281-299.