Tradeoffs in the Dark: the Effect of Experience on Extrapolated Consumer Preferences

Yanliu Huang , Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Robert Meyer , University of Pennsylvania /University of Miami, USA
The dynamics of how consumers use preference knowledge gained over one range of product-attribute levels to predict their preferences for new attribute combinations is explored. Data from six studies supports a hypothesis that as judgmental experience in a core domain grows the process of predictive inference evolves from a reliance on meta-cognitive “guessing” rules to exemplar-based rules and finally to functional prediction rules. It was found that consumers often under-estimate the utility of novel product combinations that are superior to familiar options and over-estimate the utility of inferior options. The boundary conditions are explored in terms of the depth of prior judgment experience and the form of the “true” affective response policy.
[ to cite ]:
Yanliu Huang and Robert Meyer (2010) ,"Tradeoffs in the Dark: the Effect of Experience on Extrapolated Consumer Preferences", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 179-182 .