Leader-Focused Search: the Influence of an Emerging Preference on Information Selection

Kurt Carlson, Georgetown University, USA
Abhijit Guha, Wayne State University, USA
This article examines the influence that emerging preferences (i.e., leaders) have on information search. We consider two possibilities. First, consumers may seek information they expect will support their leader (leader-supporting search). Second, consumers seek information about their leader, irrespective of the expected valence of the information (leader-focused search). Across multiple studies, we consistently find evidence of leader-focused search, and little or no evidence of leader-supporting search. We also find leader-focused search steers consumers towards information sources that are less important and less credible.
[ to cite ]:
Kurt Carlson and Abhijit Guha (2010) ,"Leader-Focused Search: the Influence of an Emerging Preference on Information Selection", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 477-477 .