The impact of confidence in evaluating on discounting: A missing information context example

John Wiley
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 2010, 9 (5), pp. 333 - 348
Issue Date:
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Consumers often use coping mechanisms to aid in processing imperfect information about products when making choices. Specifically, a common evaluation processing pattern of uncertainty detection, uncertainty resolution and discounting behaviour (URD) has been observed, particularly in studies involving missing information (MI). When consumers detect MI (uncertainty), they often discount the MI alternatives unless confidently held inferences are formed to reduce uncertainty (resolution), which attenuates discounting (URD). This paper proposes consumers overall confidence in evaluating (CE) plays a role in the URD processing pattern. In MI contexts, inferences formed to fill-in MI may also increase overall CE which may have an effect on discounting that is separate and distinct to that of the formation of confidently held inferences. While the impact on discounting of inferences formed to fill in MI is only relevant in MI contexts, the impact of the more encompassing CE variable may impact non-MI contexts (affected by non-MI uncertainty) as well. The concept of CE broadens the scope of the URD processing pattern commonly observed in MI contexts to other evaluation contexts. Two studies demonstrate the role of CE in the URD evaluation process (in MI contexts). A model proposes more general interactive effects of sources of uncertainty, and uncertainty detection and resolution on CE and discounting.
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