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The next new thing: curiosity and the motivation to purchase novel products


  • John C. Bernard

    () (University of Delaware)

  • William Schulze

    () (Cornell University)


Consumers motivated by curiosity may enter a ‘hot' state when confronted with a desirable novel product and be unable to judge their future actions in a ‘cold'' state. To test this, a multiple week auction experiment was conducted using an opportunity to rent an MP3 player. Subjects initially recorded non-binding bids to rent the player for both the first and second weeks. The only significant differences between these and actual bids were with week one renters bidding lower in week two. Results showed that people have difficulty forecasting their future value of a product, especially when it is one about which they are curious or eager to try. Even consumers with a higher opinion of the product after use had a lower valuation of it after they gained experience with it.

Suggested Citation

  • John C. Bernard & William Schulze, 2005. "The next new thing: curiosity and the motivation to purchase novel products," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(32), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-05c90020

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-270, March.
    2. Boyce, Rebecca R, et al, 1992. "An Experimental Examination of Intrinsic Values as a," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1366-1373, December.
    3. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aerni, Philipp & Scholderer, Joachim & Ermen, David, 2011. "How would Swiss consumers decide if they had freedom of choice? Evidence from a field study with organic, conventional and GM corn bread," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 830-838.
    2. Park, Seong-Hee & Mahony, Daniel F. & Kim, Yukyoum & Kim, Young Do, 2015. "Curiosity generating advertisements and their impact on sport consumer behavior," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 359-369.

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    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior


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