This study investigates the influence of word-of-mouth (WOM) on consumers’ attitudinal ambivalence in the context of higher education decision-making. Construal level theory (CLT) is combined with attitudinal ambivalence literature to generate hypotheses about how different types of WOM (i.e., praise and activity) received during the decision-making process reduce attitudinal ambivalence. The subsequent consequences of attitudinal ambivalence for decision-making are also studied. A two-wave survey of applicants to international higher education programs is used to test the hypotheses. This study contributes to the ambivalence literature by showing that different types of WOM information reduce attitudinal ambivalence depending on the temporal closeness of a choice and the consumption of a service. The findings have implications for the management of attitudinal ambivalence and WOM throughout the consumer decision-making process and consequently for assisting consumers in making choices.
- Decision-making process