CONSUMERS’ KNOWLEDGE, MAXIMIZING TENDENCIES, AND POST-DECISION INFORMATION SEARCH

ABSTRACT Nowadays consumers have more previous knowledge about products and services before making decisions. This study sheds light on the effects of consumers’ previous knowledge on post-decision information search. Previous studies argue that cognitive dissonance and feelings of regret or dissatisfaction elicit this search. However, we show through one experimental and two correlational studies that this view is incomplete. Our findings indicate that knowledgeable consumers search for more information at the post-decision stage, even when the decision cannot be modified. This main effect is stronger (weaker) for maximizers (satisficers). Also, cognitive dissonance affects the post-decision information search behavior. Therefore, we suggest a new variable, consumers’ previous knowledge, for consideration in the post-decision information search model.