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The effects of expertise, end goal, and product type on adoption of preference formation strategy

Abstract

The global preference formation model identifies several preference formation strategies (i.e., own-based, other-based, or hybrid) that consumers use to select among alternative product offerings. This article examines how consumers’ expertise level (novice vs. expert), their end goals (satisficing vs. optimizing), and product type (search vs. experience product) collectively influence the preference formation strategy likely to be adopted. Results from an experiment indicate that the adoption of a given strategy is influenced by interactions between subjects’ expertise level and their end goals and the product type. Novice satisficers employed a higher proportion of own-based strategies than novice optimizers, but expert satisficers used a lower proportion of own-based strategies than expert optimizers. When compared to novices choosing a search product, novices selecting an experience product used a lower proportion of own-based and a higher proportion of other-based strategies. Similarly, when compared to experts choosing a search product, experts selecting an experienced product used a lower proportion of own-based strategies, but this was accompanied by a higher proportion of hybrid strategies. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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Her current research interests include consumer choice processes, electronic decision aids, and measurement issues in marketing.

His research interests include consumer information search, marketing communications, and measurement issues.

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King, M.F., Balasubramanian, S.K. The effects of expertise, end goal, and product type on adoption of preference formation strategy. JAMS 22, 146–159 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070394222004

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Keywords

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Product Category
  • Product Type
  • Choice Task
  • Consumer Research