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Goal Change, Information Acquisition, and Transfer

Cynthia Huffman
Journal of Consumer Psychology
Vol. 5, No. 1 (1996), pp. 1-25
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1480414
Page Count: 25
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Goal Change, Information Acquisition, and Transfer
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Abstract

This research examines factors that facilitate the transfer of knowledge gained from multiple product experiences motivated by one goal (i.e., desired benefit) to additional product experiences motivated by a second, different goal. In the first study, I investigate how information acquisition and choice differs with the second goal, as compared to experiences with the first. Results show that after the goal switch, subjects' information acquisition is more efficient with respect to the second goal as compared with the first. Subjects' information acquisition becomes increasingly brand based, and although the amount of information acquired during choice increases temporarily when the second goal is introduced, it is still less overall as compared with the first goal. In the second study, I demonstrate that successful performance to meet the second goal is related to subjects' knowledge of the category and not simply procedural knowledge, and that two important characteristics of the knowledge base (for facilitating transfer) are whether it is organized by brand and whether the subject understands the relationship between the first and the second goal.

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