Advertisement

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 246–256 | Cite as

A proposed model of external consumer information search

  • Jeffrey B. Schmidt
  • Richard A. Spreng
Research Notes

Abstract

An enduring interest in consumer behavior is the investigation of external prepurchase information search. Past research has identified a large number of factors that have been found to influence the extent of information search. The purposes of this article are to summarize the external information search literature and then develop a more parsimonious model of information search. Specifically, we propose that the effects of these antecedents of information search are mediated by four variables: ability, motivation, costs, and benefits. This model integrates the psychological search literature by incorporating ability and motivation to search for information and the economic paradigm that centers on the perceived costs and benefits of information search. Propositions are developed based on this comprehensive model for future testing.

Keywords

Consumer Research Search Cost Information Search Objective Knowledge American Market Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alba, Joseph W. and J. Wesley Hutchinson. 1987. “Dimensions of Consumer Expertise.”Journal of Consumer Research 13 (March): 411–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Babin, Barry J., William R. Darden, and Mitch Griffin. 1994. “Work and/or Fun: Measuring Hedonic and Utilitarian Shopping Value.”Journal of Consumer Research 20 (March): 644–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beatty, Sharon E. and Scott M. Smith. 1987. “External Search Effort: An Investigation Across Several Product Categories.”Journal of Consumer Research 14 (June): 83–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett, Peter D. and Gilbert D. Harrell. 1975. “The Role of Confidence in Understanding and Predicting Buyers’ Attitudes and Purchase Intentions.”Journal of Consumer Research 2 (September): 110–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bettman, James R. 1979.An Information Processing Theory of Consumer Choice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  6. —————, Eric J. Johnson, and John W. Payne. 1991. “Consumer Decision Making.” InHandbook of Consumer Research. Eds. T. S. Robertson and H. H. Kassarjian. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 50–84.Google Scholar
  7. ————— and C. Whan Park. 1980. “Effects of Prior Knowledge and Experience and Phase of the Choice Process on Consumer Decision Processes: A Protocol Analysis.”Journal of Consumer Research 7 (December): 234–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bloch, Peter H., Daniel L. Sherrell, and Nancy M. Ridgway. 1986. “Consumer Search: An Extended Framework.”Journal of Consumer Research 13 (June): 119–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brucks, Merrie. 1985. “The Effect of Product Class Knowledge on Information Search Behavior.”Journal of Consumer Research 12 (June): 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cacioppo, John T. and Richard E. Petty. 1982. “The Need for Cognition.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42 (January): 116–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Capon, Noel and Marion Burke. 1977. “Information Seeking in Consumer Durable Purchases.” InContemporary Marketing Thought. Ed. B. A. Greenberg and D. N. Bellenger. Chicago: American Marketing Association, 110–115.Google Scholar
  12. ————— and —————. 1980. “Individual, Product Class, and Task-Related Factors in Consumer Information Processing.”Journal of Consumer Research 7 (December): 314–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Celsi, Richard L. and Jerry C. Olson. 1988. “The Role of Involvement in Attention and Comprehension Processes.”Journal of Consumer Research 15 (September): 210–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chase, William G. and Herbert A. Simon. 1973. “Perception in Chess.”Cognitive Psychology 4 (January): 55–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Claxton, John D., Joseph N. Fry, and Bernard Portis. 1974. “A Taxonomy of Prepurchase Information Gathering Patterns.”Journal of Consumer Research 1 (December): 35–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cole, Catherine A. and Siva K. Balasubramanian. 1993. “Age Differences in Consumers’ Search for Information: Public Policy Implications.”Journal of Consumer Research 20 (June): 157–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Copeland, Melvin T. 1917. “Relation of Consumer’s Buying Habits of Marketing Methods.”Harvard Business Review 1 (April): 282–289.Google Scholar
  18. Cox, Donald F. 1967.Risk Taking and Information Handling in Consumer Behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Cude, Brenda J. 1987. “Estimating the Returns to Informed Decisionmaking.”Journal of Consumer Affairs 21 (Summer): 86–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cunningham, Scott M. 1967. “The Major Dimensions of Perceived Risk.” inRisk Taking and Information Handling in Consumer Behavior. Ed. I. J. Cox. Boston: Harvard University, Graduate School of Business Administration, 82–108.Google Scholar
  21. Dommermuth, William P. 1965. “The Shopping Matrix and Marketing Strategy.”Journal of Marketing Research 2 (May): 128–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Doney, Patricia M. and Gary M. Armstrong. 1996. “Effects of Accountability on Symbolic Information Search and Information Analysis by Organizational Buyers.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 24 (Winter): 57–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Duncan, Calvin P. and Richard W. Olshavsky. 1982. “External Search: The Role of Consumer Beliefs.”Journal of Marketing Research 19 (February): 32–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Engel, James F., Roger D. Blackwell, and Paul W. Miniard. 1993.Understanding the Consumer, Seventh Ed. Fort Worth, TX: Dryden.Google Scholar
  25. Farley, John V. 1964. “Brand Loyalty and the Economics of Information.”Journal of Business 37 (October): 370–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Furse, David H., Girish Punj, and David W. Stewart. 1984. “A Typology of Individual Search Strategies Among Purchasers of New Automobiles.”Journal of Consumer Research 10 (March): 417–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gatignon, Hubert and Thomas S. Robertson. 1991. “Innovative Decision Processes.” InHandbook of Consumer Behavior. Eds. T. S. Robertson and H. H. Kassarjian. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 316–348.Google Scholar
  28. Gutman, Jonathon. 1982. “A Means-End Chain Model Based on Consumer Categorization Processes.”Journal of Marketing 46 (Spring): 60–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hawkins, Del I., Roger J. Best, and Kenneth A. Coney. 1986.Consumer Behavior Strategy: Implications for Marketing Strategy. Plano, TX: Business Publications.Google Scholar
  30. Hempel, D. J. 1969. “Search Behavior and Information Utilization in the Home Buying Process.” InMarketing Involvement in Society and the Economy. Ed. P. R. McDonald. Chicago: American Marketing Association, 241–249.Google Scholar
  31. Howard, John A. and Jagdish N. Sheth. 1969.The Theory of Buyer Behavior. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  32. Inman, J. Jeffrey, Leigh McAlister, and Wayne D. Hoyer. 1990. “Promotion Signal: Proxy for a Price Cut?”Journal of Consumer Research 17 (June): 74–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Johnson, Blair T. and Alice H. Eagley. 1990. “Involvement and Persuasion: Types, Traditions, and the Evidence.”Psychological Bulletin 107 (3): 375–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Johnson, Eric and J. Edward Russo. 1984. “Product Familiarity and Learning New Information.”Journal of Consumer Research 11 (June): 542–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Katona, George and Eva Mueller. 1955. “A Study of Purchase Decisions.” InConsumer Behavior. Ed. L. H. Clark. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Kiel, Geoffrey C. and Roger A. Layton. 1981. “Dimensions of Consumer Information Seeking Behavior.”Journal of Marketing Research 18 (May): 233–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kunda, Ziva. 1990. “The Case for Motivated Reasoning.”Psychological Bulletin 108 (March): 480–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Krugman, Herbert. 1965. “The Impact of Television Advertising: Learning Without Involvement.”Public Opinion Quarterly 29 (Fall): 349–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. MacInnis, Deborah J., Christine Moorman, and Bernard J. Jaworski. 1991. “Enhancing and Measuring Consumers’ Motivation, Opportunity, and Ability to Process Brand Information From Ads.”Journal of Marketing 55 (October): 32–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Maute, Manfred F. and William R. Forrester, Jr. 1991. “The Effect of Attribute Qualities on Consumer Decision Making: A Causal Model of External Information Search.”Journal of Economic Psychology 12 (December): 643–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miyake, Naomi and Donald A. Norman. 1979. “To Ask a Question, One Must Know Enough to Know What Is Not Known.”Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 18 (June): 357–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Moore, William L. and Donald R. Lehmann. 1980. “Individual Differences in Search Behavior for a Nondurable.”Journal of Consumer Research 7 (December): 296–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Newman, Joseph W. and Richard Staelin. 1971. “Multivariate Analysis of Differences in Buyer Decision Time.”Journal of Marketing Research 8 (May): 192–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. ————— and —————. 1972. “Prepurchase Information Seeking for New Cars and Major Household Appliances.”Journal of Marketing Research 9 (August): 249–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. ————— and —————. 1973. “Information Sources of Durable Goods.”Journal of Advertising Research 13 (April): 13–29.Google Scholar
  46. Olshavsky, Richard W. 1979. “Task Complexity and Contingent Processing in Decision Making: A Replication and Extension.”Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 24 (December): 300–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. ————— 1985. “Towards a More Comprehensive Theory of Choice.” InAdvances in Consumer Research, Vol. 12. Eds. E. Hirschman and M. T. Holbrook. Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 465–470.Google Scholar
  48. ————— and Walter Wymer. 1995. “The Desire for New Information From External Sources.”Proceedings of the Society for Consumer Psychology. Eds. S. Mackenzie and R. Stayman. Bloomington, IN: Printmaster, 17–27.Google Scholar
  49. Park, C. Whan and V. Parker Lessig. 1981. “Familiarity and Its Impact on Consumer Decision Biases and Heuristics.”Journal of Consumer Research 3 (September): 223–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. ————— and Banwari Mittal. 1985. “A Theory of Involvement in Consumer Behavior: Problems and Issues.” InResearch in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 1. Ed. Jagdish N. Sheth. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 210–231.Google Scholar
  51. —————, Meryl P. Gardner, and Vinod K. Thukral. 1988. “Self-Perceived Knowledge: Some Effects on Information Processing for a Choice Task.”American Journal of Psychology, 101 (Fall): 401–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. —————, David L. Mothersbaugh, and Lawrence Feick. 1994. “Consumer Knowledge Assessment.”Journal of Consumer Research 21 (June): 71–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Payne, John W. 1976. “Task Complexity and Contingent Processing in Decision Making: An Information Search and Protocol Analysis.”Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 16 (August): 366–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. —————, James R. Bettman, and Eric J. Johnson. 1988. “Adaptive Strategy Selection in Decision Making.”Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 14 (July): 534–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Petty, Richard E. and John T. Cacioppo. 1986. “The Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion. InAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 19. Ed. Leornard Berkowitz. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 123–205.Google Scholar
  56. Phillips, Leslie W. and Brian Sternthal. 1977. “Age Differences in Information Processing: A Perspective on the Aged Consumer.”Journal of Marketing Research 14 (July): 243–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Punj, Girish and Richard Staelin. 1983. “A Model of Consumer Information Search Behavior for New Automobiles.”Journal of Consumer Research 9 (March): 366–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Reynolds, Fred D. and Joseph O. Rentz. 1981. “Cohort Analysis: An Aid to Strategic Planning.”Journal of Marketing 45 (Summer): 62–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Richins, Marsha L. and Peter H. Bloch. 1986. “After the New Wears Off: The Temporal Context of Product Involvement.”Journal of Marketing Research 13 (September): 280–286.Google Scholar
  60. Rosen, Dennis L. and Richard W. Olshavsky. 1987. “A Protocol Analysis of Brand Choice Strategies Involving Recommendations.”Journal of Consumer Research 14 (December): 440–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Russo, J. E. 1977. “The Value of Unit Price Information.”Journal of Marketing Research 14 (May): 193–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schacter, Daniel L. 1983. “Feeling of Knowing in Episodic Memory.”Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 9 (January): 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schaninger, Charles M. and Donald Sciglimpaglia. 1981. “The Influence of Cognitive Personality Traits and Demographics on Consumer Information Acquisition.”Journal of Consumer Research 8 (September): 208–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Simon, Herbert H. 1967. “Motivational and Emotional Controls of Cognition.”Psychological Review 74 (1): 29–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Simonson, Itamar. 1989. “Choice Based on Reasons: The Case of Attraction and Compromise.”Journal of Consumer Research 16 (September): 158–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Spreng, Richard A. and Richard W. Olshavsky. 1989. “Exploring the Headwaters of the Prior Knowledge-Search Relationship.” InProceedings of the American Marketing Association Summer Educators’ Conference. Eds. Paul Bloom, Bart Weitz, Russ Winer, Robert Spekman, Harold H. Kassarjian, Vijay Mahajan, Debra L. Scammon, and Michael Levy. Chicago: American Marketing Association, 220–224.Google Scholar
  67. ————— and —————. 1990. “The Impact of Standard of Comparison and Knowledge Domain on the Measurement of Subjective Knowledge.” InProceedings of the American Marketing Association Summer Educators’ Conference. Eds. A. Parasuraman and W. Bearden. Chicago: American Marketing Association, 44–48.Google Scholar
  68. Srinivasan, Narasimhan. 1986. “A Path Analytic Model of External Search for Information for New Automobiles.” InAdvances in Consumer Research, Vol. 14. Eds. M. Wallendorf and P. Anderson. Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 319–322.Google Scholar
  69. -----. 1987. “A Causal Model of External Search for Information for Durables: A Particular Investigation in the Case of New Automobiles.” Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo.Google Scholar
  70. —————. 1990. “Pre-Purchase External Search for Information.” InReview of Marketing. Ed. Valarie E. Zeithaml. Chicago: American Marketing Association, 153–189.Google Scholar
  71. ————— and Brian T. Ratchford. 1991. “An Empirical Test of a Model of External Search for Automobiles.”Journal of Consumer Research 18 (September): 233–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stigler, George J. 1961. “The Economics of Information.”Journal of Political Economy 69 (June): 213–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Swan, John E. 1969. “Experimental Analysis of Predecision Information Seeking.”Journal of Marketing Research 6 (May): 192–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Udell, John C. 1966. “Prepurchase Behavior of Buyers of Small Electrical Appliances.”Journal of Marketing 30 (January): 50–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Urban, Glenn L., John S. Hulland, and Bruce D. Weinberg. 1993. “Premarket Forecasting for New Consumer Durable Goods: Modeling Categorizaiton, Elimination, and Consideration Phenomena.”Journal of Marketing 57 (April): 47–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Urbany, Joel E., Peter R. Dickson, and William L. Wilkie. 1989. “Buyer Uncertainty and Information Search.”Journal of Consumer Research 16 (September): 208–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wilkie, William L. and Peter R. Dickson. 1985.Shopping for Appliances: Consumers’ Strategies and Patterns of Information Search. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey B. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Richard A. Spreng
    • 2
  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations