Researching a purchase ‘can help ease buyer’s remorse’

April 10th, 2011 - 6:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Kansas State University Washington, Apr 10 (ANI): A new study has suggested that consumers often experience less post-purchase regret when they use more cognitive effort, which involves performing research, gathering opinions and exploring options before purchasing a product.

Jisook April Park, a Kansas State University doctoral candidate in psychology, Korea, has been working with Gary Brase, K-State associate professor of psychology, to study consumer decision-making strategies and understand the causes and remedies for post-purchase regret.

To explore post-purchase regret, Park performed two types of studies that involved more than 250 K-State students.

In the first study, Park gave participants two types of decision-making situations. One situation involved choosing between two laptops and the other situation involved choosing between two pairs of jeans.

Participants had to use different levels of cognitive effort — or different amounts of research — to choose between the two. Based on this study, Park found that participants experienced less regret when more cognitive effort was invested and when a pair of jeans was purchased rather than a laptop.

For the second study, Park again had participants choose between two laptops and two pairs of jeans.

She had participants put forth cognitive effort deemed “unjustified” — meaning they either spent a lot of time researching other products but ended up buying the original laptop or pair of jeans they wanted — or put forth cognitive effort deemed “under spent”– meaning they did not spend a lot of time researching even when they did not know much about the product.

Results showed that “unjustified” cognitive effort did not make much difference in post-purchase regret but “under spent” cognitive effort created more post-purchase regret.

“That means that high cognitive effort itself may be a way to justify the consumer’s decisions and the decision-making process,” said Park.

“While cognitive effort can help reduce regret, there is no one-size-fits-all amount of cognitive effort to practice in order to reduce post-purchase regret. It varies for each person and situation,” she added. (ANI)

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