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Title: Consideration set formation : a rational model and some numerical validation results
Authors: Vanhonacker, Wilfried R.
Keywords: Consideration set
Random utility
Issue Date: Mar-1994
Series/Report no.: Marketing Working Paper Series ; MKTG 94.008
Abstract: The notion of a consideration set describing a subset of brands from which an individual consumer will select or choose has received considerable attention in the recent marketing literature. This paper develops a rational model of the latent consideration set formation process, characterizing it as an information search in a dynamic setting. An individual consumer will holistically evaluate alternative brands as long as the expected outcome of the search justifies the cost. Hence, consideration set generation is viewed as a categorization process with a cost/benefit screening heuristic. In contrast to previous work using the cost/benefit approach, the operationalisation here specifies costs and benefits in the utility domain recognizing various processing phenomena which have been shown to affect information acquisition and computational effort. Given the latent character of the process and its outcome, the validation methodology consists of simulating realistic scenarios and comparing the expansion and contraction of the consideration sets against consumer behavior theory and observation.
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