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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

The Impact of Consumer Self-concept Clarity on Heuristics

Published: May 27, 2020


Shiva Vaziri, Grenoble École de management; Yan Meng, Grenoble Ecole de Management


self-concept clarity; heuristics; ease of retrieval


Across three studies, the authors investigated how self-concept clarity affects reliance on three types of heuristics: anchoring and adjustment, ease-of-retrieval, and compromise effect, in the context of consumer choice. Study 1 showed that participants with an unclear self-concept relied more on anchoring heuristics to estimate a product's price. Additionally, it is demonstrated that consumers with high (vs. low) self-concept clarity relied more on ease-of-retrieval heuristics to evaluate brands (Study 2) and also relied on compromise effects to make a purchase choice (Study 3). These studies shed light on the cognitive consequences of self-concept clarity and contribute to the literature on heuristics by identifying self-concept clarity as an influential factor affecting the depth of information processing. The present research also provides managerial strategies for when heuristics are involved in consumer product evaluation and decision-making.