Academic Study Pit Consumers Against Each Other In Online Shopping

An academic study recently surveyed the purchasing habits and behaviors for online shoppers.
Their objective was to purchase a virtual good.
They could visit any number of virtual shops to buy this good, but different shops charged different prices for it.
They only saw the price offered at a shop once they had visited it; but visiting a new shop cost them game tokens — a "search cost."
When the game concluded their search expenses and goods expenses were weighed against each other.