A confusão no processo de escolha do consumidor
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Within the literature of Consumer Behavior and Decision Theory there is a considerable body of theory that analyzes negative feelings and negative reactions in the decision making process, concerning high and low involvement products. Several phenomena are identified as negative in the process, such as Consumer Confusion, which comprises three dimensions: i) too much similar information about products, ii) a lot of information about different products and iii) false and ambiguous information. This phenomenon, however, seems to be moderated by a set of variables, such as Involvement, Experience and Time Constraints (moderating the relationship between Consumer Confusion and Purchase Intention). This was identified through in-depth interviews. The results of the interviews enabled the identification of moderating variables, as well as the existence of the phenomenon and its relation to the Purchase Intention. In the second phase of the research, it is assumed that individuals with low Involvement and Time Constraints have a greater propensity to confusion. In Study 2, Involvement and Time Constraint were used as moderators, both manipulated by instruction, and the dependent variables were Purchase Intention and Consumer Confusion. The results of Study 2 allowed the reseracher to infer that there are, indeed, significant differences between the groups, when analyzing the variable Consumer Confusion, but in most groups the Purchase Intention was not significantly different. In Study 3, Experience (strong and weak) and Consumer Confusion were manipulated and the dependent variable was Purchase Intention. The results of Study 3 also allowed to infer that there are significant differences between groups referring to Purchase Intention, when considered low or high confusion as well as strong or weak Experience. In the last phase of the research, consumer strategies for dealing with the phenomenon were the focus of the study. Such strategies often mediate subsequent behavior, for instance, purchase itself. In Study 4, Consumer Confusion was manipulated in two of its dimensions: overload and similarity. It was possible to identifie the preponderance of two strategies: search for additional information and postponement of the purchase decision.