Decision Difficulty in the Age of Consumer Empowerment

Journal of Consumer Psychology, Forthcoming

55 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2014

See all articles by Susan M. Broniarczyk

Susan M. Broniarczyk

University of Texas at Austin - Marketing

Jill Griffin

University of Evansville - School of Business Administration

Date Written: June 4, 2014

Abstract

In this review, we examine the impact of two key factors of consumer empowerment – choice freedom and expansion of information – on the choice difficulty consumers experience in today’s decision environment. We posit that though these two consumer empowerment factors offer numerous potential benefits, they also can magnify such sources of decision difficulty as task complexity, tradeoff difficulty, and preference uncertainty. Next we review several key moderators, including consumer knowledge, mental representation, and maximization tendencies as well as information type and organization, that can exacerbate or mitigate the effect of these consumer empowerment factors on decision difficultly outcomes. Lastly, we examine the effectiveness of decision aids in assisting consumers navigate the complexity of today’s decision environment, and we identify areas for future investigation.

Keywords: decision difficulty, consumer empowerment, assortment, customization, word-of-mouth, decision aids

Suggested Citation

Broniarczyk, Susan M. and Griffin, Jill, Decision Difficulty in the Age of Consumer Empowerment (June 4, 2014). Journal of Consumer Psychology, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2446095

Susan M. Broniarczyk (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Marketing ( email )

2110 Speedway Stop B6700
McCombs School of Business
Austin, TX 78712-1275
United States

Jill Griffin

University of Evansville - School of Business Administration ( email )

1800 Lincoln Avenue
Evansville, IN 47722
United States

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