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Title: The effect of knowledge miscalibration on the dimensions of consumer value
Author: Razmdoost, Kamran
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 2356
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2015
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Consumer value is an important determinant of consumers’ post-use behaviour, for example satisfaction, repeat purchase and word of mouth. The existing research mainly looks at the factors associated with the product and service providers to improve consumer value. Few studies on the role of the consumer in shaping consumer value have found consumer knowledge to be an important element in shaping consumer value. Adopting critical realism, this PhD expands this area of knowledge by investigating knowledge miscalibration (i.e., the inaccuracy in subjective knowledge) as a significant antecedent of consumer value. Most of the time, consumers’ perceptions of what they think they know (i.e., subjective knowledge) has been shown to be different from what they actually know (i.e., objective knowledge). Thus, subjective knowledge is usually inaccurate. This inaccuracy in subjective knowledge relative to objective knowledge is called knowledge miscalibration. Although the effect of knowledge miscalibration on consumers’ purchasing decisions has been investigated in the consumer behaviour literature, its role in the use stage of consumption has received much less attention. The aim of this research is to examine the effect of knowledge miscalibration on product or service use, and more specifically on the value consumers derive from actually using products or services (i.e., value-in-use). In this research a critical realism paradigm is pursued, implying that reality exists in the three domains of the empirical, the actual and the real. The research starts with observing regularity in the empirical domain (i.e., consumer value) followed by imagining the causal power in the actual and the real domains (i.e., knowledge miscalibration), shaping the research question. A retroductive strategy is followed, firstly by proposing the effect of knowledge miscalibration on consumer value and secondly by conceptually and empirically testing this relationship. This research conceptualises that knowledge miscalibration influences consumer value dimensions, described as efficiency, excellence, play and aesthetics. It is suggested that underconfidence (i.e., knowledge miscalibration where subjective knowledge is deflated) and overconfidence (i.e., knowledge miscalibration where subjective knowledge is inflated) influence consumer value dimensions differently as they generate different consequences in use. Therefore, a conceptual model is developed that describes the effect of knowledge miscalibration (i.e., overconfidence and underconfidence) on the dimensions of consumer value. The empirical part of the research is designed by conducting a covariance-based study and an experimental investigation in order to gain both internal and external validity. The covariance-based investigation is conducted in the context of online shopping. Knowledge miscalibration and consumer value dimensions are measured in this study. This study supports the negative effect of underconfidence on efficiency, excellence, play and aesthetics and the negative effect of overconfidence on play. The experimental investigation is designed in the context of, an online dynamic presentation creation website that enables its users to move between slides, words and images during their presentations. In this study, overconfidence and underconfidence are manipulated and their effects on the dimensions of consumer value are examined. The findings of this study show that underconfidence negatively influences efficiency, excellence and aesthetics, while overconfidence negatively impacts excellence, play and aesthetics. Overall, this PhD concludes that knowledge miscalibration negatively influences the dimensions of consumer value, with the exception of overconfidence impacting efficiency. The contradictory results of the covariance-based study observed in the experimental study can be explained through its inability to account for reciprocal relationships (i.e., where consumer value dimensions also impact knowledge miscalibration) and the existence of a third variable affecting both independent and dependent variables. Furthermore, the context of the experimental study (employing a new consumption task) is proposed to be the main reason for the lack of support for the effect of underconfidence on play.
Supervisor: Dimitriu, R.; Knox, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Overconfidence ; Underconfidence ; Value-in-use ; Knowledge calibration ; Subjective knowledge ; Customer value