The effect of expertise on consumers' satisfaction with the use of a decision aid
This study has extended the literature on interactive decision aids by investigating the relationship between customers' expertise and their satisfaction with the purchasing process when using an interactive decision aid. ^ Using a 2 (expert/novice) x 3 (web page with an attribute-format decision aid/web page with a simple-question format decision aid/web page with no decision aid) factorial design, a between-subject experiment with 245 participants was conducted. The interactive decision aid format was manipulated experimentally and expertise was measured to classify participants as expert and novice consumers. Expertise was used as a blocking variable. The dependent measures were the perceived costs of the information search process, the perceived benefits of the information search process, the perceived costs of the decision-making process, the perceived costs of the decision-making process, and satisfaction with the overall purchase process. ^ Results of this study provide evidence for an underlying mechanism that helps consumers feel more satisfied with the overall purchasing experience when they use a decision aid. This study also found that using a decision aid results in consumers feels that searching for information does not require a lot of effort and feel more confident with their decisions than those who did not use a decision aid. Furthermore, this study found that the effect of expertise does vary on the way consumers feel about their decisions but not on the way consumers feel about their efforts for information search. The effect was also found between novice consumers who use an attribute-format decision aid and those who do not use a decision aid. ^
Major Professor: Lucette B. Comer, Purdue University.
Business Administration, Marketing