University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

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Naïve Theories about Marketing and Consumption in Consumer Inference

Author(s): Helen Deval, Cronley Maria, Susan Mantel, Frank Kardes

Status: Published
Year: 2017
Publication Name: Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, Page Number(s): 429-446


Consumers often have to draw conclusions, form attitudes and judgments, and make decisions with incomplete information. This chapter focuses on how the intersection of situational factors and a consumer’s previously held naïve theories influences information evaluation. More specifically, situational factors that may bias consumer decision frames and thus influence information processing and judgment include time constraints, the desire to evaluate and think about the information, situational expertise, cognitive stress, and attitude relevance. At the same time, naïve theories, the common sense, informal explanations people use to simplify their life, may also drive inferences and subsequent judgments about the situation itself, the product, and the decision. Common consumer naïve theories span across contexts related to price, quality, scarcity, promotion, and technical information, to name just a few, and thus influence how consumers will respond to a variety of marketing contexts. This chapter will combine these two key areas of research related to biased processing and decision making and pose potential research questions for future research.


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