No Pain, No Gain? How Fluency and Construal Level Affect Consumer Confidence
Choice confidence is affected by fluency and moderated by construal levels that evoke different theories to interpret the feelings of fluency. At lower construal levels, fluency informs the feasibility of completing the concrete steps of the decision process to choose well, but at higher construal levels, fluency informs (insufficient) effort invested for the desirability of the outcome. We manipulated fluency by varying the font of product descriptions or the number of thoughts we asked participants to recall. Our studies showed that fluency increased confidence for people processing at lower construal levels but decreased confidence for those processing at higher construal levels. Construal level does not affect the persuasiveness of consumers' thoughts, supporting the hypothesis that it is the interpretation of fluency experienced during judgment, not the thought content, that leads to the moderating effects of construal level.
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