The influence of consumption goals on decision processing and choice
Hair, Michael Lee
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My research examines how active consumption goals, defined as the benefits sought by the consumer, influence cognitive processes and decision outcomes. I address two common issues pertinent to consumer decisions. Consumers often face choices in which information is not readily available—requiring them to retrieve details from memory. Furthermore, consumer choices are frequently influenced by the type of attributes presented and the decision context itself, sometimes leading to negative outcomes and consequences. In two essays, I study how the activation of consumption goals can influence the manner in which decision-relevant information is encoded into memory, and may also influence the weighting of decision attributes and the outcomes of subsequent choices. The first essay explores the effects of goal activation and attribute valence on memory for information in a consumer decision setting. The second essay explores the factors that affect the helpfulness (or harmfulness) of consumption goal elicitation.