Consumers’ Variety Seeking: From an Information Perspective

  •  Xuenan Ju    


Variety seeking is one of the most common psychological heuristics when consumers make decisions. The literature posits that understanding the mechanism of variety seeking is critical to explain consumers’ decision-making process. Yet little is known about the effects of information, which also significantly influences consumers’ choice behavior. Drawing on established theories of psychology and economics, the author develops a synergetic framework investigating the impact of information adequacy on degree of variety seeking. Results from three studies show that information scarcity significantly stimulates the degree of variety seeking (Study 1). In addition, consumers’ preference stability, which represents consumers’ inherent information, also inhibits the degree of variety seeking (Study 2). Finally, consumers’ expertise level, which represents information acquired by learning and experience, shows a moderating effect on variety seeking-information link. Specifically, novice consumers are more likely to prefer variety than expert consumers when information is limited (Study 3).

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