Attention Trajectories Predict Brand Choice
108 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2019 Last revised: 1 May 2021
Date Written: February 14, 2021
Trajectories of attention during a complex brand choice task reflect the accumulation of utility and predict final choice before consumers implement it. Our findings reveal a “double attention lift” of the ultimately chosen brand towards the end of the choice task: it receives more attention than other brands do, and more of that attention is devoted to integrating information about the brand rather than to comparing it with other brands. Attention trajectories predict 85% of brand choices correctly out-of-sample, and 52% one period (29 secs.) before consumers reveal their brand choice. Attention during the choice task reflects sources of utility over and above those from brand ownership and knowledge effects. These results are obtained from a new multivariate attention-and-choice model, using K-fold Cross-Validation, and data from a large scale eye-tracking experiment among 325 regular consumers. The findings support notions from rational inattention theory, reveal the tight, potentially neurological, link between attention and utility accumulation, and have implications for consumer choice theory and managerial practice.
Keywords: Attention and Brand Choice, Complex Decision-Making, Utility Accumulation, Eye-Tracking, K-fold Cross-Validation.
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