Explanation Fiends and Foes: How Mechanistic Detail Determines Understanding and Preference
AbstractPeople differ in their threshold for satisfactory causal understanding and therefore in the type of explanation that will engender understanding and maximize the appeal of a novel product. Explanation fiends are dissatisfied with surface understanding and desire detailed mechanistic explanations of how products work. In contrast, explanation foes derive less understanding from detailed than coarse explanations and downgrade products that are explained in detail. Consumers’ attitude toward explanation is predicted by their tendency to deliberate, as measured by the cognitive reflection test. Cognitive reflection also predicts susceptibility to the illusion of explanatory depth, the unjustified belief that one understands how things work. When explanation foes attempt to explain, it exposes the illusion, which leads to a decrease in willingness to pay. In contrast, explanation fiends are willing to pay more after generating explanations. We hypothesize that those low in cognitive reflection are explanation foes because explanatory detail shatters their illusion of understanding.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.
Volume (Year): 39 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1115 - 1131
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2009.
"Cognitive abilities and behavioral biases,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 147-152, October.
- Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-05, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
- Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2009. "Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases," Working Papers 0465, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
- Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases," IZA Discussion Papers 3481, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Mukherjee, Ashesh & Hoyer, Wayne D, 2001. " The Effect of Novel Attributes on Product Evaluation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 462-72, December.
- Mick, David Glen, 1992. " Levels of Subjective Comprehension in Advertising Processing and Their Relations to Ad Perceptions, Attitudes, and Memory," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 411-24, March.
- Fox, Craig R & Tversky, Amos, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603, August.
- Uma R. Karmarkar & Zakary L. Tormala, 2010. "Believe Me, I Have No Idea What I'm Talking About: The Effects of Source Certainty on Consumer Involvement and Persuasion," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(6), pages 1033-1049, 04.
- Alba, Joseph W & Hutchinson, J Wesley, 2000. " Knowledge Calibration: What Consumers Know and What They Think They Know," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 123-56, September.
- Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.