Subjective Knowledge, Search Locations, and Consumer Choice

25 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2003

See all articles by Christine Moorman

Christine Moorman

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Kristin Diehl

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

David Brinberg

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Blair Kidwell

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Marketing

Abstract

This article demonstrates that subjective knowledge (i.e., perceived knowledge) can affect the quality of consumers' choices by altering where consumers search. We propose that subjective knowledge increases the likelihood that consumers will locate themselves proximate to stimuli consistent with their subjective knowledge. As such, subjective knowledge influences choice by affecting search selectivity between environments rather than search within the environment. We suggest that the need for self-consistency drives this effect of subjective knowledge on search. Two lab experiments and one field study find support for the effect of subjective knowledge on nutrition search selectivity and choice as well as for the role of self-consistency.

Keywords: Subjective Knowledge, Information Search, Choice Behavior, Nutritional Choice,

Suggested Citation

Moorman, Christine and Diehl, Kristin and Brinberg, David and Kidwell, Blair, Subjective Knowledge, Search Locations, and Consumer Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=478022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.478022

Christine Moorman (Contact Author)

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

United States
919.660.7856 (Phone)
919.681-6245 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.duke.edu/~moorman

Kristin Diehl

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

David Brinberg

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University ( email )

Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Blair Kidwell

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Blacksburg, VA 24061

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