When Deliberation Decreases Satisfaction: The Role of Cognition-Based versus Affect-Based Reasons
Posted: 8 Jun 2020
Date Written: March 9, 2020
Previous research has found that consumers who deliberate about the reasons for their decisions tend to make less satisfying choices. We propose that this view is overly narrow, and argue that deliberation only impacts choice satisfaction as a function of the type of reasons on which consumers deliberate and the product category in which the decision is made. In particular, we distinguish between cognition-based reasons (grounded in defensible or logical evaluations) and affect-based reasons (grounded in feelings and emotions), and show that deliberation based on these different types of reasons results in different satisfaction outcomes. Specifically, while consumers in hedonic (vs. utilitarian) product categories are less satisfied when deliberating about cognition-based (vs. affect-based) reasons, their satisfaction is not reduced if they instead deliberate about affect-based (vs. cognition-based) reasons. Our research offers new insights into when and how deliberation impacts choice satisfaction, and offers practical recommendations for how and when to engage consumers to deliberate in different product categories, such as those that fulfilling hedonic versus utilitarian goals or those fulfilling promotion versus prevention goals.
Keywords: Satisfaction, Choice, Affect and Emotion, Deliberation, Hedonic Consumption
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