The Learning (And Not) of Effort and Accuracy Tradeoffs

Jeffrey S. Larson, Brigham Young University
When making decisions, consumers balance their desire for accuracy with their desire to conserve mental effort. This assumption pervades the consumer behavior literature. Despite its ubiquity, no research has examined the manner in which consumers come to learn the optimal balance of effort and accuracy for a given decision. By examining this dynamic process, the current research demonstrates that consumers insufficiently adjust original effort level when explicit changes to the task are made. This bias is significant because it implies that consumers are not as adaptive as previously thought. Three studies demonstrate the bias and show the unique contribution of three causal mechanisms.
[ to cite ]:
Jeffrey S. Larson (2008) ,"The Learning (And Not) of Effort and Accuracy Tradeoffs", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 820-821.