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When Does Choice Reveal Preference? Moderators of Heuristic versus Goal-Based Choice


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  • Aimee Drolet
  • Mary Frances Luce
  • Itamar Simonson
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    Heuristic use is a central topic in consumer research, but the factors that determine when consumers will settle for shortcut solutions to choice problems (e.g., compromise) versus rely on "true" preferences (e.g., self-goals) remain unclear. We propose that both motivation to use self-goals, as indexed by need for cognition (NFC), and cognitive ability, manipulated through cognitive load, influence the use of the compromise heuristic. Three studies showed that NFC is associated with less compromise at baseline but not under load. Process measures and moderation tests suggest that load disrupts access to self-goals and that NFC relates to self-goal use. Thus, load differentially influences compromise choice across levels of NFC. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (06)
    Pages: 137-147

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:36:y:2009:i:1:p:137-147

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    Cited by:
    1. Yin-Hui Cheng & Shin-Shin Chang & Shih-Chieh Chuang & Ming-Wei Yu, 2012. "The impact of purchase quantity on the compromise effect: The balance heuristic," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(4), pages 499-512, July.
    2. Berg, Nathan & Kim, Jeong-Yoo, 2010. "Demand for Self Control: A model of Consumer Response to Programs and Products that Moderate Consumption," MPRA Paper 26593, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Chuang, Shih-Chieh & Cheng, Yin-Hui & Hsu, Chun-Ting, 2012. "The influence of suggestions of reference groups in the compromise effect," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 554-565.
    4. Frank Goedertier & Kristof Geskens & Maggie Geuens & Bert Weijters, 2012. "Increasing choice satisfaction through goal-based labeling," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 119-136, March.


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