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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1290867
 
 

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Specification Seeking: How Product Specifications Influence Consumer Preference


Christopher K. Hsee


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Yang Yang


Carnegie Mellon University

Yangjie Gu


Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management; London Business School

Jie Chen


Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management

October 21, 2008

Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 35, 2009

Abstract:     
We offer a framework about when and how specifications (e.g., megapixels of a camera and number of air bags in a massage chair) influence consumer preferences and report five studies that test the framework. Studies 1-3 show that even when consumers can directly experience the relevant products and the specifications carry little or no new information, their preference is still influenced by specifications, including specifications that are self-generated and by definition spurious and specifications that the respondents themselves deem uninformative. Studies 4 and 5 show that relative to choice, hedonic preference (liking) is more stable and less influenced by specifications.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: specifiication, consumer preference, decision

JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91

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Date posted: October 27, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Hsee, Christopher K. and Yang, Yang and Gu, Yangjie and Chen, Jie, Specification Seeking: How Product Specifications Influence Consumer Preference (October 21, 2008). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 35, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1290867

Contact Information

Christopher K. Hsee (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Yang Yang
Carnegie Mellon University ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
Yangjie Gu
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management ( email )
No.535 Fahuazhen Road
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Shanghai, Shanghai 200052
China
London Business School ( email )
Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
Jie Chen
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management ( email )
No.535 Fahuazhen Road
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Shanghai, Shanghai 200052
China
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