Role of Forgetting in Memory-Based Choice Decisions: A Structural Model
We propose a structural model to investigate the impact of forgetting on consumers' brand choice decisions in frequently purchased products. Forgetting results in consumers imperfectly recalling their prior brand evaluations when making a purchase decision in the category. We conceptualize the imperfect recall by positing that consumers recall their prior evaluations with noise. Based on prior research in the behavioral area, we characterize the extent of forgetting as an increasing and concave function of time. Our framework generates analytical results on the impact of forgetting on consumers' brand evaluations and their consequent purchase behavior. We calibrate our model using scanner panel data for liquid detergents. Furthermore, we obtain insights into the consumers' extent of forgetting in the category, extent of learning, predicted price elasticities and implications on state dependence and habit persistence. Our results underscore the importance of modeling consumers' ability to recall only imperfectly. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004
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