Cognitive Dissonance and Purchase Involvement in the Consumer Behavior Context

The IUP Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. VIII, Nos. 3 & 4, pp. 7-24, August & November 2009

Posted: 22 Nov 2009

See all articles by Babu P. George

Babu P. George

Fort Hays State University

Manoj Edward

Cochin University of Science and Technology

Date Written: November 19, 2009

Abstract

The paper begins with an examination of how the degree of personal involvement in a purchase decision affects the information needed to reduce cognitive dissonance associated with that purchase. The authors argue that, highly involved individuals, because of their high involvement in purchase decisions, are rigid in their preconceived cognitions that led to the purchase. Consequently, they tend to downplay the new cognition and actively look out for purchase supportive information, rather than changing the old cognition that led to the purchase decision. Also, it is proposed that, to overcome the cognitive dissonance associated with a high involvement purchase, more supportive information is needed to overcome the cognitive dissonance associated with a low involvement purchase. Yet another finding of the study is that the willingness of a dissonant individual to accept the new cognition increases with the elapse of time from the time of occurrence of the cognitive dissonance. The study also unveils that, for a typical purchase, the degree of cognitive dissonance felt by more involved purchasers is less than that felt by less involved purchasers. Thus, interestingly, even though the degree of cognitive dissonance felt by highly involved purchasers is lower, the difficulty for them to grapple with it is higher. An associated finding is that more planned and less spontaneous buying behavior is associated with a higher degree of cognitive dissonance.

Suggested Citation

George, Babu P. and Edward, Manoj, Cognitive Dissonance and Purchase Involvement in the Consumer Behavior Context (November 19, 2009). The IUP Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. VIII, Nos. 3 & 4, pp. 7-24, August & November 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1509844

Babu P. George (Contact Author)

Fort Hays State University ( email )

Hays, KS 67601
United States

Manoj Edward

Cochin University of Science and Technology ( email )

Cochin, Kerala 682 022
India

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