Noel Capon

Can Consumers Calculate Best Buys?

Coauthor(s): Deanna Kuhn.


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The article focuses on the author's view on whether consumers can calculate best buys. According to the author, a number of studies have found only a limited incidence of the ability to reason proportionately. Though subjects in these studies were still in their teens, little further development would be probable with their advancement into adulthood. This evidence led to their hypothesis that a significant number of adults would be unable to utilize a proportional reasoning strategy in a simple consumer decision-making context. If confirmed, such a finding would suggest that investigation of the underlying reasoning capacities of adult consumers in everyday decision making tasks is an important area for further research. The authors believe that, unless they are sure that consumers have the ability themselves to make the critical comparisons and appropriate inferences, control of consumers' purchasing behavior remains, to some significant degree, in the hands of others. Furthermore, although educational level is certainly related to the ability in question, the presence of higher education by no means guaranteed it.

Source: Journal of Consumer Research
Exact Citation:
Capon, Noel, and Deanna Kuhn. "Can Consumers Calculate Best Buys?" Journal of Consumer Research 8, no. 4 (March 1982): 449-53.
Volume: 8
Number: 4
Pages: 449-53
Date: 3 1982