People invest much time and money in consuming knowledge. We argue that people systematically vary in the types of knowledge they prefer to know and that such preferences can have broad implications for consumer behavior. We illustrate this in the context of the preference for practical versus theoretical knowledge. Specifically, we propose and show that some people prefer to know more about how to apply and make use of phenomena they encounter, whereas others prefer to know more about what explicates and underlies the phenomena. We further propose and demonstrate that the extent to which people prefer practical versus theoretical knowledge can help predict their behaviors in a wide variety of consumption domains such as education (e.g., choice of learning materials, preference for different MBA programs), marketing information (e.g., skepticism toward advertising and reference prices), and intertemporal discounting (e.g., reaction to service delays; preference for fast food restaurants).
Yang, H., Carmon, Z. and Simonson, I. (2020), "Preference for Practical versus Theoretical Knowledge: Conceptualization and Consumer Behavior Predictions", Iacobucci, D. (Ed.) Continuing to Broaden the Marketing Concept (Review of Marketing Research, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 171-192. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1548-643520200000017015Download as .RIS
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