Study: We learn as we shop

Jun 05, 2007

Consumers might not know it, but a Canadian study finds the ability to learn from experience is of central importance when people buy products.

Such ability allows us to acquire many of the skills we need to complete a wide variety of complicated, multi-step tasks in an efficient manner, the researchers said. But it also creates habit -- a critical, if often overlooked, factor in the product and service choices consumers make.

Kyle Murray of the University of Western Ontario and Gerald Haubl of the University of Alberta say such "cognitive lock-in" can cause us to remain loyal to a product, even if objectively better alternatives exist.

Murray and Haubl discovered habits are dependent not only on the acquisition of a particular skill set, but on our desire to achieve specific goals.

"This has important implications for consumer behavior," they said. "For example, learning to navigate a particular grocery store to purchase orange juice does not necessarily lock consumers into that store when their goal is to buy a cake."

The study appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Senate, House look to update Bush-era education law

Related Stories

Shark's unique trek could help save the species

12 hours ago

Her name is Jiffy Lube2, a relatively small shortfin mako shark that, like others of her kind, swims long distances every day in search of prey and comfortable water temperatures.

New Horizons spacecraft experiences anomaly

12 hours ago

The New Horizons spacecraft experienced an anomaly the afternoon of July 4 that led to a loss of communication with Earth. Communication has since been reestablished and the spacecraft is healthy.

Dwarf planet Ceres offers big surprises for scientists

12 hours ago

The closer we get to Ceres, the more perplexing the dwarf planet grows. NASA's Dawn spacecraft has found several more bright spots as well as a pyramid-like peak jutting out of the frigid world's surface.

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

Jul 03, 2015

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Another five things to know about meta-analysis

Jul 01, 2015

Last year I wrote a post of "5 Key Things to Know About Meta-Analysis". It was a great way to focus – but it was hard keeping to only 5. With meta-analyses booming, including many that are poorly done or ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.