An examination of consumers' use of heuristic cues in making satisfaction judgments

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This study was undertaken to investigate the propensity of consumers to rely on heuristic cues when making satisfaction judgments in a repeat-purchase context. The objective of this investigation was twofold: first, to investigate the impact of mood states at the information-encoding stage for both on-line and memory-based judgments, and second, to examine whether information-processing efficiency can provide new insight into the initial-judgment effect in a consumer-behavior context. The results of this experiment indicate that inefficient information processors may be subject to biased satisfaction evaluations caused by their mood states at the information-encoding stage. Efficient information processors, on the other hand, tend to partial out the impact of mood in their postpurchase evaluations. Despite this fact, high-capacity information processors are not free from bias; they seem to be heavily guided by prior judgments in subsequent evaluations of the same consumption object. In sum, motivation rather than ability to process information may be the key factor in a consumer's propensity to use heuristics during the postpurchase evaluation process. The marketing implications of these findings are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-501
Number of pages25
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


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