演讲题目：When Preference Uncertainty Meets Outcome Uncertainty: More Uncertainty Increases Beliefs About Product Fit
Consumers can experience two types of uncertainty when purchasing a product. Preference uncertainty refers to the uncertainty associated with one’s needs or wants (e.g., “How strong do I prefer my coffee?”). Outcome uncertainty refers to the uncertainty associated with product characteristics or performance (e.g., “How strong is the coffee?”). Contrary to the prior finding that preference uncertainty makes people reluctant to purchase, we find the opposite occurs when there is outcome uncertainty. Specifically, when outcome uncertainty is high (e.g., a coffee pack without a clear or familiar strength indicator), people with preference uncertainty (e.g., uncertain about their preferred strength level) are more likely to expect a product will match their preference (e.g., the coffee will have the desired strength) and, thus, are more likely to purchase the product. Drawing on the sampling model of probability judgment, we show that this occurs because preference uncertainty increases the number of preference match scenarios people can imagine when mentally simulating the possible outcomes (e.g., "I may like moderately strong coffee the most and the coffee is moderately strong" => match, "I may like strong coffee the most and the coffee is strong" => match). These findings contribute to the literature on judgment under uncertainty and have important implications for marketers and consumer well-being.
Xiang Wang is a Ph.D. candidate in marketing at the Warrington College of Business, University of Florida. Prior to joining the program, she received her bachelor’s degree in statistics from Fudan University. Xiang’s research primarily focuses on the influence of uncertainty and resource scarcity on consumer choice and preference.