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Expert opinion on new product could be misleading
Published on 19 Mar. 2011 12:28 AM IST
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If you’re contemplating a new purchase, you had better avoid asking experts as they are falliable since they have a hard time recalling product features. So, they tend to fill in the missing details from a hazy memory. Even though some of those false recalls are reasonable assumptions, others are not. Novices don’t have such prior knowledge, so they can’t confuse actual recall with what is stored in their memories, the Journal of Consumer Research reports.
“People tend to assume that knowledge is always a good thing, but our research suggests that in some cases this may not be true,” write authors Ravi Mehta and JoAndrea Hoegg from the universities of Illinois and British Columbia and Amitav Chakravarti of New York University. In four studies, they found that experts had a harder time than novices in accurately remembering features of videogame consoles; as a result, the quality of their product judgements was reduced, according to an Illinois statement.
“When seeking advice from a consumer expert, we suggest that it’s a good idea to ask them what you should do, but just don’t ask them why you should do it,” the authors conclude.

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