The novice nose knows: How olfactory knowledge shapes evaluation confidence

Prior consumer knowledge research compares differences between experts and novices within a product category, implicitly assuming that novices are similar across categories.


A key difference between consumers is the knowledge they possess about a given product category. Those with substantial prior experience and expertise are known as experts, while others lacking this are novices (Alba & Hutchinson, 1987). Experts and novices behave differently in key tasks such as information search, encoding and processing, attitude formation, product evaluation and purchase decision-making (e.g., Clarkson, Janiszewski, & Cinelli, 2013; Estelami & Maeyer, 2004; Masson, Sanchez, & Celhey, 2017). Yet, despite considerable research into the behavioral differences induced by consumer knowledge, research that compares experts and novices focuses on a single product category (e.g., Moreau,...

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