Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Practice makes perfect? Consumers overestimate their ability to learn prior to purchase

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers give up on using products because they underestimate their learning abilities, according to a new study.

Consumers give up on using products because they underestimate their learning abilities, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Authors Darron Billeter (Brigham Young University), Ajay Kalra (Rice University), and George Loewenstein (Carnegie Mellon University) found that consumers are overconfident in their abilities to learn skill-based products before they try them out. But as soon as they gain experience with the product they often quit using it. "Anyone who has tried, then rapidly abandoned snowboarding, knitting, fancy new software or the calendar on their iPod can probably ruefully relate," the authors write.

The authors studied tasks new to most people, which wouldn't take long to learn in a lab setting, like typing on a keyboard with an unfamiliar layout, tracing lines while only being able to view the tracing in a mirror, and folding t-shirts in a novel way. Participants were given verbal instructions and then were asked to predict how rapidly they would be able to perform the task. Initially, participants overestimated their abilities.

Next, participants were given a short amount of experience with the task and were asked to predict how rapidly they would be able to perform the task, both in the short term and longer term. "Not only were subjects overly pessimistic about their ability to perform the task in the short term, but they were also overly pessimistic about their ability to improve over time," the authors write. Participants began correctly predicting their performance after four rounds (20 minutes) of under-predicting.

Because of this initial discouragement, the authors discovered that consumers were willing to pay more for a keyboard before they had tried it than they were after they gained a few minutes experience with it.

"Much of parenting is about teaching children that persistence pays off -- that tasks that initially seem difficult become easier with practice," the authors write. "The results of these studies suggest that, despite the lessons our parents might have sought to teach us, most of us have not fully learned the lesson."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Darron Billeter, Ajay Kalra, and George Loewenstein. Underpredicting Learning Following Initial Experience with a Product. Journal of Consumer Research, February 2011

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Practice makes perfect? Consumers overestimate their ability to learn prior to purchase." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720123643.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, July 21). Practice makes perfect? Consumers overestimate their ability to learn prior to purchase. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720123643.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Practice makes perfect? Consumers overestimate their ability to learn prior to purchase." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720123643.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins