DECISION MAKING IN THE ERA OF INFOBESITY: A STUDY ON INTERACTION OF GENDER AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TENDENCIES

Main Article Content

Sana Maidullah
Ankita Sharma

Keywords

Online decision makings, Information load, Gender differences, Psychological tendencies, Information processing, Computerised task

Abstract

Purpose: This study examines information processing during consumer decision making on online platforms as influenced by gender differences and psychological tendencies. Further exploration is ‘how much information is too much information; leading to infobesity.’


Methodology: The methodology to address the objective included the questionnaires for assessment of psychological tendencies and naturalistic experiments to measure decision making in online conditions. An online marketplace prototype was created for mobile purchase, named ‘mobile bazaar,’ and another for hotel booking, named ‘backpackers.’ The prototype was designed in such a way that the manipulation of information presented to the participant is possible. Participants were recruited with purposive and snowball sampling method depending upon their willingness and familiarity with online market platforms. Final data were collected from Three hundred sixty-eight participants during the period of October 2017- March 2018. The data from questionnaires and the computerized task was scored and analyzed with SPSS version 21 with t-test, chi-square and logistic regression analysis methods.


Main findings: The present study shows the influence of psychological tendencies (i.e., need for closure, exploratory tendencies, and uncertainty avoidance) and gender difference in decision making. Female seems to follow ‘process less to process better’ strategy, whereas, men seem to follow ‘process more to get better’ strategy. The findings also provided input to the debate of information measurement in consumer research.


Implications: Understanding decision making features of Indian consumers can not only contribute to the understanding of the naturalistic decision-making process itself but also can provide inputs to the market researchers, designers, and policymakers.


Novelty /originality of the study: The study was novel in terms of its use of the online marketplace prototype as a naturalistic decision making study method. This method allowed the researchers to examine participants' behavior (of information processing and decision making) in real like scenarios and yet had the luxury of manipulation of presenting information as per research design. Therefore the findings of present study will have more generalizability.

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