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Does greater product information actually inform consumer decisions? The relationship between product information quantity and diversity of consumer decisions

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Author Info

  • Sasaki, Takao
  • Becker, D. Vaughn
  • Janssen, Marco A.
  • Neel, Rebecca
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    Abstract

    For many consumer goods, the advent of online markets dramatically increases the amount of information available about products' different features and qualities. Although numerous studies have investigated the effects of information quantity on individual-level decisions, it is still unknown how the amount of attribute information affects group-level patterns of behavior, particularly when consumers are also aware of a choice's popularity. In the present studies, we hypothesized that when attribute information increases, it may exceed the individual's cognitive capacity to process this information, and as a result conformity - choosing the most popular item - becomes more likely. In this study, we first examined empirical data collected from human subject experiments in a simulated online shopping experience, and then developed an agent-based model (ABM) to explore this behavioral clustering. Both studies confirmed our primary hypotheses, and the ABM shows promise as a tool for exploring extensions of these ideas.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 391-398

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:3:p:391-398

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

    Related research

    Keywords: Consumer behavior Decision making Cognitive processes Computer simulation;

    References

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    1. Ariely, Dan & Levav, Jonathan, 2000. " Sequential Choice in Group Settings: Taking the Road Less Traveled and Less Enjoyed," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 279-90, December.
    2. Grether, David M. & Wilde, Louis L., 1983. "Consumer choice and information : New experimental evidence," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 115-144.
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    Cited by:
    1. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Marette, Stéphan, 2010. "How do consumers in developed countries value the environment and workers' social rights in developing countries?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1005, CEPREMAP.
    2. Stephan Marette & Jutta Roosen & Sandrine Blanchemanche, 2011. "The Combination of lab and field experiments for benefit-cost analysis," Working Papers 40757, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.

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