The impact of common features on consumer preferences: A case of confirmatory reasoning

Alexander Chernev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This article examines how confirmatory reasoning moderates the impact of attractive and unattractive common features on consumer preferences. Building on the existing research on confirmatory information processing and the motivated reasoning framework, I propose that consumers evaluate common features in a way that supports their already established preferences. In a series of three studies, I show that the impact of common features is moderated by their attractiveness and the strength of individuals' already established preferences. In the context of a choice task, only attractive features were found to enhance individuals' already established preferences, and this effect was more pronounced for consumers with already established brand preferences compared to consumers who were indifferent to the options. The effect of attractive and unattractive features was reversed in the context of a rejection rather than a selection task. These findings are interpreted in the context of consumers confirmatory reasoning aimed at reaching a consistent and readily justifiable decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-488
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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