Explaining Cognitive Lock-In: The Role of Skill-Based Habits of Use in Consumer Choice

42 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2007  

Kyle B. Murray

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Gerald Häubl

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Abstract

We introduce and test a theory of how the choices consumers make are influenced by skill-based habits of use - i.e., goal-activated automated behaviors that develop through the repeated consumption or use of a particular product. Such habits can explain how consumers become locked in to an incumbent product. The proposed theory characterizes how the amount of experience with the incumbent product, the occurrence of usage errors while learning to use that product, and the goal that is activated at the time a choice is made interrelate to influence consumer preference. The results of three experiments support the theory's predictions.

Keywords: consumer choice, judgment and decision making, learning, habit, skill, goals

JEL Classification: C91, D11

Suggested Citation

Murray, Kyle B. and Häubl, Gerald, Explaining Cognitive Lock-In: The Role of Skill-Based Habits of Use in Consumer Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=964189

Kyle B. Murray (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
780-248-1091 (Phone)
780-492-4631 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kylemurray.com

Gerald Häubl

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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