Threats to Hope and Motivated Reasoning of Product Information
28 Pages Posted: 18 May 2006
Date Written: May 2006
Three studies find that when hope is threatened consumers engage in motivated reasoning related to products that purport to enable goal attainment. Specifically, they (a) selectively search for information from a product-favorable information source, (b) regard this information as more credible, and (c) are less discriminating of low credibility message arguments. They also (d) require more negative information before they feel that they can evaluate a product's effectiveness, and (e) are more likely to judge the product as effective at helping them attain what they hope for. Motivated reasoning appears to act as a coping mechanism for restoring confidence that what consumers hope for is possible. The implications of this research for theory on motivated reasoning, hope, confidence, self-efficacy, consumer vulnerability to sham products and scams, and public policy are discussed.
Keywords: motivation, reasoning, hope, confidence
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation