Threats to Hope and Motivated Reasoning of Product Information

Posted: 23 Aug 2006

See all articles by Gustavo de Mello

Gustavo de Mello

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Deborah J. MacInnis

University of Southern California - Marketing Department

David W. Stewart

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

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Abstract

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

de Mello, Gustavo E. and MacInnis, Deborah J. and Stewart, David W., Threats to Hope and Motivated Reasoning of Product Information. Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=903213

Gustavo E. De Mello

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Deborah J. MacInnis (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marketing Department ( email )

Hoffman Hall 701
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1427
United States

David W. Stewart

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

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-5037 (Phone)

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