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The supremacy of singular subjectivity: Improving decision quality by removing objective specifications and direct comparisons

Authors
Journal
Journal of Consumer Psychology
1057-7408
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
21
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcps.2011.05.006
Keywords
  • Product Specifications
  • Surrogate
  • Consumption Experience
  • Attribute Evaluability
  • Online Marketing
  • Web Design
Disciplines
  • Communication

Abstract

Abstract When making purchase decisions, consumers want objective product specifications and seek direct product comparison. The present research demonstrates that consumers can make better decisions (i.e., choose what yields a better consumption experience) if objective specifications are removed and direct comparison is inhibited than if not, and this is true even if consumers cannot experience the target products themselves at the time of choice (such as in online shopping). The reason is that consumption is largely subjective and non-comparative, and decisions based on subjective and non-comparative information are often more compatible with consumption. In general discussion, we explore the boundary conditions of our findings and the implications of this research for a new way of marketing that emphasizes subjectivity over objectivity and non-comparison over comparison.

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