Prior Expectations and Consumer Analytic Categorization

Consumers’ category learning under cognitive constraints was investigated in this study. Previous research showed that cognitive constraints inhibited rule learning; however, we find that when consumers have prior expectations about the rule and when the rule is consistent with their expectations, cognitive constraints facilitate rule learning. These findings suggest that the interplay between prior expectations and cognitive constraints might lead consumers to engage in a more aggressive hypothesis generation and/or updating process. This research will contribute to our understanding about human association learning in the category learning context. Implications for marketing strategy are discussed.


Lingjing Zhan and Richard D. Johnson (2007) ,"Prior Expectations and Consumer Analytic Categorization", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 258-259.


Lingjing Zhan, University of Alberta, Canada
Richard D. Johnson, University of Alberta, Canada


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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