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If you are shopping our site and you change the product listing 'Sort By' selection from 'New' (or whatever it may be) to 'Price' manually on the front-end 'Price' will then become the new global 'Sort By' selection for that user's entire session. In other words, for the rest of their shopping session all categories on our site will 'Sort By' Price, Bestsellers, Brand or whatever they had selected and it will override all of our default product 'Sort By' settings for all categories.

What we would like to have happen (and what we are seeing on other e-commerce sites) is that if the 'Sort By' selection has been manually changed by the shopper that that selection only last as long as they are in that category. So, when they leave that category our default product 'Sort By' settings will override their manual selection if one had been made.

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Just found the answer:

You have to customize your theme's catalog.xml layout file, e.g., app/design/frontend/rwd/default/layout/catalog.xml and add "<action method="disableParamsMemorizing"/>" under 2 different sections, i.e.,

<catalog_category_default>
<block type="catalog/product_list_toolbar" name="product_list_toolbar" template="catalog/product/list/toolbar.phtml”>
<action method="disableParamsMemorizing"/>
</block> <!-- product_list_toolbar -->
</catalog_category_default>

<catalog_category_layered>
<block type="catalog/product_list_toolbar" name="product_list_toolbar" template="catalog/product/list/toolbar.phtml”>
<action method="disableParamsMemorizing"/>
</block> <!-- product_list_toolbar -->
</catalog_category_layered>

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