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A proposed model of external consumer information search

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.

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Correspondence to Jeffrey B. Schmidt.

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Jeffrey B. Schmidt recently became an assistant professor of marketing at Kansas State University after completing his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. His research interests include new product development and international product strategy. His work has appeared in theJournal of Product Innovation Management andJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing as well as in various conference proceedings.

He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. His research interests include consumer satisfaction/dissatisfaction and issues involving consumer knowledge. His work has appeared in theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, andJournal of Product Innovation as well as in various conference proceedings.

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Schmidt, J.B., Spreng, R.A. A proposed model of external consumer information search. JAMS 24, 246–256 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070396243005

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Keywords

  • Consumer Research
  • Search Cost
  • Information Search
  • Objective Knowledge
  • American Market Association