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.

Related Articles


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 [link]

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, 2015 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, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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