Knowledge and Choice Uncertainty Affect Consumer Search and Buying Behavior

T. Laureus-Niinivaara, T. Saarinen, A. Öörni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Pre-purchase search is an activity which most consumers engage in frequently to extract up-to-date information for a purchase decision. Search is an interesting topic from the practical and academic point of view. We approach the topic by observing the information needs through the concept of uncertainty. Uncertainty is the driving force of consumer search. Search is costly and, thus, no search would be likely to occur if consumers had a perfect knowledge about their preferences and market offerings. While uncertainty is widely acknowledged as the driving force of search, few attempts have been made to relate uncertainty and the choice of pre-purchase information. We studied the generic types of consumer pre-purchase uncertainty: knowledge uncertainty and choice uncertainty, and the connection between uncertainty dimensions and the extent of the search process. Our findings suggest that the aforementioned uncertainties markedly affect the consumer search process and are useful determinants of consumer behavior in pre-purchase deliberation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHICSS 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, US, January 3-6, 2007
ISBN (Print)0-7695-2755-8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventAnnual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Waikoloa, United States
Duration: 3 Jan 20076 Jan 2007
Conference number: 40

Publication series

PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISSN (Print)1530-1605


ConferenceAnnual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Abbreviated titleHICSS
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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