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Product-Level Choice: A Top-Down or Bottom-Up Process?


  • Park, C Whan
  • Smith, Daniel C


Examination of the process by which consumers form decision criteria and subsequently evaluate and choose product-level alternatives when purchase goals are well defined indicates that decision criteria are formulated in a goal-driven, top-down fashion rather than a product-driven, bottom-up fashion. Evaluations of alternatives follows a within-product strategy, as opposed to a within-attribute strategy, and is characterized by less reliance on price information than reported in previous research. Even without a specific goal for product decisions, the formation and utilization of decision criteria did not follow the bottom-up process. Alternative explanations are offered for these contrasts along with implications for future research on product-level decisions. Copyright 1989 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Park, C Whan & Smith, Daniel C, 1989. " Product-Level Choice: A Top-Down or Bottom-Up Process?," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 289-299, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:16:y:1989:i:3:p:289-99

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    1. Piggott, Nicholas E. & Wright, Vic, 1992. "From Consumer Choice Process To Aggregate Analysis: Marketing Insights For Models Of Meat Demand," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-16, December.
    2. Silvana Taschek Hastreiter & Renato Zancan Marchetti, 2016. "Understanding the hierarchy of goals of the consumer is one of the issues that has guided the efforts of researchers in recent years. The objective of this study is to identify a hierarchy of goals th," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, vol. 13(1), pages 92-114, January.

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