Subjective Knowledge, Search Locations, and Consumer Choice
25 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2003
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,
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