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Title:The effects of product popularity on consumer decisions
Author(s):Ha, Younhee
Director of Research:White, Tiffany B.; Wyer, Robert S., Jr.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):White, Tiffany B.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Wyer, Robert S., Jr.; Viswanathan, Madhubalan; Shavitt, Sharon
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):consumer decision
product popularity
Information Processing
Abstract:Previous research suggests that consumers tend to use indications of products’ popularity to a greater extent when high demands are placed on their cognitive resources such as when decision uncertainty is high and the amount of information presented is large. In this case, products’ popularity is likely to override the effect of specific attribute descriptions. In some cases, however, indications of others’ product preferences can sensitize consumers to a discrepancy between their general knowledge about a product category and their knowledge about the specific products they are evaluating. In my thesis, I identified conditions in which this is the case. I propose that product popularity makes knowledgeable consumers aware of a “knowledge gap,” which increases their curiosity about the uncertain product assortment. Consequently, they think about the products’ attributes in an attempt to understand others’ reactions to the assortment. As a result, the attribute information can have greater influence on their judgments than it would have if popularity information were not presented. Three studies provide evidence to corroborate this expectation. Furthermore, the results show that consumers’ tendency to deliberate on product attribution is stronger when (a) consumers perceive their general product knowledge to be high and (b) making decisions is cognitively demanding.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Younhee Ha
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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