Self-reflection and articulated consumer preferences
Hauser, Dong & Ding
2013 Consumer’s automotive preferences change during evaluation
- Consumer preferences change by self-reflection during the buying process.
- If consumers’ preferences change after thinking deeply about their preferences,
products designed based on preferences stated prior to self-reflection may not
reflect consumers’ true preferences.
- True preferences: preferences consumers use to make decisions after a serious
evaluation of the products that are available on the market.
- A commonly used method, where consumers are asked to articulate their
preferences, is sensitive to self-reflection.
- More structured methods themselves induce self-reflection.
Related theories from consumer psychology
- Four major tenets of modern consumer behavior theory:
o Consumers construct their decision rules / preferences based on the choice
o Experts’ decision rules are different and more accurate than novices’ decision
o Consumers, when faced with a choice among many products or based on
many features, simplify their decision process with:
Two-step consider-then-choose processes.
Simplified decision rules.
o Consumers learn their own preferences as they complete intensive tasks that
ask them to use or articulate preferences.
Data used to explore self-reflection learning
- Self-reflection learning: if consumers are given a sufficiently realistic task and
enough time to complete that task, consumers will think deeply about their
preferences (and potential consumption of the products). Such self-reflection helps
consumers clarify and articulate their preferences. After self-reflection, articulated
preferences endure and are more likely to provide accurate insight into the voice of
- Data focused on consideration-set decisions.
Task order suggests self-reflection learning
- Incentive alignment: a set of motivating heuristics designed to:
o Induce consumers to believe it is in their interests to think hard and tell the
o It is, as much as feasible, in their interests to do so.
o There is no obvious way to improve their welfare by cheating.
Comparison of predictive ability based on task order
- If self-reflection learning takes place, predictive accuracy will depend upon the order
in which consumers complete tasks.