Experts, Novices, and Non-Consumption Among Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers

We study consumer expertise among thru-hikers of the Appalachian Trail (AT). Consumption decisions in preparation for this trip are constrained by the ability to physically carry what is purchased, while the confined juxtaposition of novices and experts on this extended hike creates a site in which adaptive, situational learning takes place. Using an ethnographic approach, we collected data through depth interviews and participant-observation methods. Unlike previous conceptualizations of expertise found in the consumer research literature, we suggest a more social one that uses Reflective Choice Adaptation (RCA).


Jon Littlefield and Robert A. Siudzinski (2008) ,"Experts, Novices, and Non-Consumption Among Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1046-1046.


Jon Littlefield, Berry College
Robert A. Siudzinski, Skillshops, Inc.


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

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