Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Buying a new product: When is it better to ask a novice rather than an expert?

Date:
March 17, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
If you're considering a purchase, you might want to avoid asking an expert's advice. According to a new study, experts have a hard time recalling product features -- especially if they feel they need to explain their logic.

If you're considering a purchase, you might want to avoid asking an expert's advice. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, experts have a hard time recalling product features -- especially if they feel they need to explain their logic.

Related Articles


"People tend to assume that knowledge is always a good thing, but our research suggests that in some cases this may not be true," write authors Ravi Mehta (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), JoAndrea Hoegg (University of British Columbia), and Amitav Chakravarti (New York University).

The researchers evaluated "expert fallibility" in recalling product features and evaluating products. "Our research shows that when the features are not directly comparable, consumer experts accidentally 'fill in' missing information about the products with information from their prior knowledge," the authors explain.

Even though some of those false recalls are reasonable assumptions, some of them are not. Novices do not have such prior knowledge, so they can't confuse actual recall with the other information stored in their memories.

In four studies, the authors found that experts had a harder time than novices in accurately remembering features of videogame consoles; as a result, the quality of their product judgments was reduced. The authors believe that this is due in part to the experts' sense of accountability and responsibility for reporting comparisons to others.

"We showed that experts naturally focus on the steps by which they reached their decision, presumably because they feel they need to explain how they determined which brand was better," the authors write. "If experts are told that all that matters is the outcome and that they will not be asked about the steps they took to reach it, their false recalls are reduced and their decision quality improves.

"When seeking advice from a consumer expert we suggest that it's a good idea to ask them what you should do, but just don't ask them why you should do it," the authors conclude.


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. Ravi Mehta, JoAndrea Hoegg, and Amitav Chakravart. Knowing Too Much: Expertise Induced False Recall Effects in Product Comparison. Journal of Consumer Research, October 2011

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Buying a new product: When is it better to ask a novice rather than an expert?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317131209.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, March 17). Buying a new product: When is it better to ask a novice rather than an expert?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317131209.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Buying a new product: When is it better to ask a novice rather than an expert?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317131209.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2015) The use of complex tools has often been seen as a defining characteristic of humanity, but that notion is now in question. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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