Information Avoidance in Consumer Choice: Do Avoidance Tendencies and Motives Vary by Age?

Stephanie L. Deng, Julia Nolte, Corinna E. Lockenhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prior research suggests that older adults seek less information in consumer choices than younger adults do. However, it remains unclear if intentional information avoidance plays a role in such effects. To test this possibility, we examined age differences in deliberate information avoidance in consumer decisions and explored a range of potential motives. Adult lifespan samples completed two pre-registered online studies, which assessed information avoidance using a slider scale (Study 1, N =195) and a forced-choice task (Study 2, N = 500). In Study 1, age differences in information avoidance were not significant, but methodological limitations could have obscured age effects. In Study 2, age was associated with higher information avoidance. Avoidance was higher among participants who reported that the information would not impact decision preferences, would elicit more negative affect, and would be useless. Although age was associated with lower perceived impact on decision preferences and lower concerns about affective responses, age differences in information avoidance remained significant when these variables were statistically controlled. In conclusion, in the context of consumer choices, deliberate information avoidance is higher among older consumers. Thus, interventions to promote the acquisition of relevant information would benefit from being tailored to the target age group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-129
Number of pages18
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Volume49
Issue number2
Early online dateMar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Goal orientation
  • Decision-making
  • Personality
  • Adulthood
  • Emotions
  • Health
  • Heart
  • Less

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