The complexity of consumers' cognitive structures and its relevance to consumer behavior.
Consumers make numerous product decisions every day. This decision-making process depends on the information processing style employed. A key factor here is the complexity of a consumer’s cognitive structures (i.e., the sophistication of the structures used to organize information). Although this construct, cognitive complexity, holds much promise for consumer behavior, several questions remain to be answered and were addressed by the present research. First, the results of the present research indicate that the Repertory Grid, developed in social interaction contexts, is a reliable instrument for measuring cognitive complexity in the consumer behavior domain. Second, the results further suggest the presence of a generalizable—as well as a context-specific—component of cognitive complexity. The generalizable component of cognitive complexity indicates that these knowledge structures are transferable across related product categories. As such, cognitive complexity is likely to impact consumer processing of product information and advertising messages.
Elsevier Science Inc.
Zinkhan, G. M., & Braunsberger, K. (2004). The complexity of consumers' cognitive structures and its relevance to consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 57(6), 575. doi:10.1016/S0148-2963(02)00396-X
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