Sauder marketing researcher JoAndrea Hoegg discovered that experts with specific product knowledge can make mistakes when relying on their memories to compare complex goods – especially when they feel compelled to explain how they arrive at their decisions.
“Ours results suggest that when experts use their memories to compare products with numerous features, such as cameras, cars and computers, they often falsely recall information and fill in gaps with prior knowledge,” says Asst. Prof. Hoegg, who co-wrote the paper for the Journal of Consumer Research with Sauder PhD student Ravi Mehta and New York University marketing professor Amitav Chakravarti.
The researchers found that when asked for help with purchase decisions, those deemed in the know feel obliged to provide detailed explanations about how they arrived at their recommendations. And that a feeling of accountability and pressure to give the best recommendations can lead to false recalls, according to the study.
“People who identify themselves as experts feel the need to compare brands across all of the available features,” explains Hoegg. “And when some of the features are not comparable, their extra effort leads them to insert information from memory, which reduces the quality of their conclusions.”
The researchers conducted an experiment with 113 undergraduate students who were given lists of features for two fictitious brands of videogame consoles. Half of the features were directly comparable and half were not. For example, online gaming was listed for one brand and nothing about online gaming was indicated for the second.
Participants were allowed two minutes to study the lists of options for the video game consoles. They were then provided an unrelated questionnaire created to assess their level of videogame console expertise.
After a delay of 20 minutes, the subjects were given a test which required them to recall the lists of features which they had been provided for each console brand.
Finally, they were given a questionnaire designed to measure their feelings of accountability, asking them to rate their reactions to statements, such as, “I was concerned about the possibility of making a mistake.”
The results show that the participants who scored high on the questionnaire rating their level of expertise about videogame consoles also had the highest percentages of false recalls of product feature information.
They also demonstrated that the false recalls were being driven by the higher sense of responsibility felt by experts, as those who made a greater number of false recalls also reported the highest levels of accountability for their decisions.
Furthermore, in a similar experiment in the study, the researchers discovered that when experts are relieved of their sense of accountability and do not feel the need to provide detailed explanations about their judgments, they made fewer false recalls.
“If you’re turning to a product expert for advice,” says Hoegg, “it’s important that they have access to all of the information they need to make their decisions, and that you let them know that it won’t be the end of the world if they make a mistake.”
Lorraine Chan | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
22.06.2017 | Life Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences