Variety-Seeking and Perceived Expertise

Sela, Aner, Liat Hadar, Siân Morgan, and Michal Maimaran (2019), “Variety-Seeking and Perceived Expertise,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, (October).

43 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017 Last revised: 10 Apr 2019

See all articles by Aner Sela

Aner Sela

University of Florida - Department of Marketing

Liat Hadar

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Adelson School of Entrepreneuship

Siân Morgan

University of Florida, Warrington College of Business Administration, Students

Michal Maimaran

Northwestern University

Date Written: April 3, 2019

Abstract

People often infer expertise from the choice of unique, rare, or sophisticated options. But might mere variety-seeking also serve as a signal of expertise, and if so, how? Six studies show that the relationship between variety-seeking and perceived expertise is not unidirectional and depends on the perceiver’s own level of expertise. Category experts perceive lower variety-seeking as indicative of discernment, which in turn increases perceived expertise in that category. Consequently, experts choose less variety to portray themselves as experts. In contrast, novices perceive high variety-seeking as indicative of category breadth knowledge, which in turn increases their perception of category expertise. Consequently, novices choose more variety to portray themselves as experts. The findings make novel theoretical contributions to research on variety-seeking, consumer expertise, and social perception, as well as practical contributions for marketers of product assortments and bundles.

Keywords: Assortments, Choice, Variety-Seeking, Identity Signaling, Expertise

Suggested Citation

Sela, Aner and Hadar, Liat and Morgan, Siân and Maimaran, Michal, Variety-Seeking and Perceived Expertise (April 3, 2019). Sela, Aner, Liat Hadar, Siân Morgan, and Michal Maimaran (2019), “Variety-Seeking and Perceived Expertise,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, (October)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3068037 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3068037

Aner Sela (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Department of Marketing ( email )

267F Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/anersela/home

Liat Hadar

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Adelson School of Entrepreneuship ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

Siân Morgan

University of Florida, Warrington College of Business Administration, Students ( email )

Gainesville, FL
United States

Michal Maimaran

Northwestern University ( email )

Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Rd.
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/directory/maimaran_michal.aspx#biography

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
32
Abstract Views
430
PlumX Metrics