High-Effort Judgement Decision Making Model

Subject: 💰 Economics
Type: Descriptive Essay
Pages: 13
Word count: 3120
Topics: 🛒 Consumerism, Marketing, Social Psychology
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The high-effort judgement as a decision-making theory focuses on understanding the consumer decision making processes, especially how they make judgments on consumption and buying behaviour. Few elements are essential in understanding this theory. For one, the concept of likelihood concerns how likely that something will happen, for instance, the product being broken down, and whether others will like the product (Hoyer et al., 2016). Judgement is also made on the basis of the goodness versus badness of which individuals look at the features and evaluate whether the offering is desirable of which it entails the attitude that individuals have towards the product (Crowley and Zentall, 2013).  Besides, there is the mental accounting of which the consumer categorizes the spending or saving his or her decisions into accounts and finally, the emotional accounting which entails the manner in which individuals focus on associating negative or positive feelings to the product, more so on feeling guilt, or evaluation of the utilitarian and hedonic purchase decisions (Hoyer et al., 2016).   

However, high-effort judgment is equally full with biases, more so confirmation biases, the mood, the prior brand evaluation, negative bias and prior experience which they use in making the future decisions (Hoyer et al., 2016).  Nevertheless, consumer decisions are made from the considering of set choices that have to be broken down, making decision on what may be important for choosing based on goal and time framing. As such, some of the elements considerate for making the decisions include thought-based decision especially brands, gains or losses, and product attributes (Crowley and Zentall, 2013).  In addition, purchase decisions are sometimes feeling-based of which one looks at the appraisals, or the feelings as well as the affective forecasts.   

Theory Foundation

High-effort judgment model of decision making comes from the theoretical foundation that people form their judgments based on the declarative information applicable to the specific target object and as such, always happen to cross the mind during the judgment period (Cutright and Samper, 2014). When positive attributes cross the mind, individuals tend to evaluate products more favourable.  On the other hand, the validity of the specific product claim is evaluated by drawing on the relevant and accessible knowledge about the corresponding content purview.  Conversely, the models like the high-effort judgement approach were developed to address the limitations of the earlier assumptions that missed to consider and take into account that thinking is a process and not only the content is involved (Pescher et al., 2014).  Essentially, people’s thought processes are defined by metacognitive experiences, for instance, the ease or even the difficulties with which particular information can be brought to mind or the efficacy in which the new information is being processed (Cutright and Samper, 2014).  Hence, the experiences are instructive of people’s decision; people draw from the processes in making decisions and forming their judgements.   In the same sense, the high-effort judgment is based on the understanding of the psychological processes and their influence on consumer decision making because it entails evaluation of the which an object is evaluated (a product) and estimation done on the likelihood of the outcome (Huang and Ying, 2011).  Therefore, the current literature and scholarly exploration adds knowledge to understanding the high-effort judgment as involving the metacognitive processes that individuals use in processing and developing meaning out of an object (a product). 

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In studying the effects and implications of high-effort on decision making, Youjin (2017) focused on investigating the direct influences that the elongation and weight of the product have in judgement and decision making including the mediating role of the effort information. In essence, the relationships that consumers have with the products depend on the varying degree of weight or effort they have invested in the object. From the study, Youjin (2017) espoused that marketers should employ and take into consideration the enhancement effect of the effort information on the weight of the product as well its elongation in developing marketing and the design approaches.   In this sense, the effort that customers make in processing the product information depends on the production end of which businesses focus on designing and presenting product attributes that will encourage high effort in processing the information about the product and making purchase decision. To support or contribute to the literature on the foundation and basis of the high-effort judgment, Cutright and Samper (2014) engaged in a study whose emphasis was on how customers react to products with low control, especially when they are facing situations that threaten their personal control.  From cross sectional studies, the researchers challenged the traditional approach or the perspective that low control is harmful or to the perceived effort and as such, customers favour products requiring them to make efforts or involve in more input, especially when the emotional state of limited control are extremely low (Cutright and Samper, 2014).  Basically, high-effort judgement stems from the notion that high-effort is a means of reassuring individuals that there is the possibility of achieving desirable outcomes while on the other hand, enabling the individuals to feel that they have driven their decision making outcomes (Cutright, James and Gavan, 2013).  Consequently, the high-effort judgment finds basis from the belief that the primary motivator of behaviour or choice is when a person has control over outcomes in his or her life (Cutright and Samper, 2014; Cutright et al., 2913). 

Nonetheless, the high-effort judgement is derived from the assertion that persons have the inherent longing of restoring control when susceptible while on the other hand, acknowledging that their efforts as well as persistence required in reasserting control challenged or reduced by fearing that they may not control the situations (Wu et al., 2011).  Furthermore, high-effort judgment model is studied from the perspective of personal control of which scholars focus on the outcome of a person’s external environment (Labroo and Pocheptsova, 2016), but recent research has included emotional outcomes, thoughts and behaviours that equally define and influence high-effort judgment. Moreover, years of exploration has presented that sensation of control over an individual’s life is directly linked to the positive outcomes, especially their greater psychological well-being (Ulkumen et al., 2010. From the literature, is argued that with the greater benefits of having high control as well as the associated stress with low control, individuals naturally develop the resilient longing in reinstating what has been threatened.  

Similarly, the basis of the high-effort judgement theory or approach is from the literature discussing and exploring the necessity of working hard (Cutright and Samper, 2014). More so, putting more efforts with a specific product leads to the increased feeling of control and empowerment, which shows the inherent relationship between the ability to control and the efforts put. Inherently, effort ranks as one of the principal elements for a person’s accomplishment results.   In the same sense, there is research supporting that people are most likely to exert more effort in attaining outcomes mostly desired thereby supporting the suggestive belief that effort helps in controlling outcomes (Wu et al., 2011).  Nevertheless, the value that individuals allocate to their hard work and effort is shown from how it allows for the enhanced evaluation of items and organisations after investing the effort (Cutright and Samper, 2014).  Consumers engage in active choosing when the have more effortful experiences. Besides, the increasingly active roles of consumers in customisation and product of goods or services is an indication that processes that are effortful renders individuals with the feelings of having the meaningful sense in competence and being valued (Youjin, 2017). 

From the literature evidence, the basis of the high-effort judgement is the need or necessity of a customer to have higher control) (high efforts) and that for the product offering to have or present a lesser degree of control in consumer’s judgment and decision making process.  For instance, through the likelihood concept of the high-effort judgment approach, individuals engage in the process of breaking down the product and processing the information about the offering to see whether desirable outcomes are bound. By having the high effort or hard work in processing the information, consumers will look at the product from the angle of the good versus bad of which other considerations like mental and emotional accounting are included in the decision making. 

Comparing to the Alternative Decision Making Models

The high-effort judgement can be compared on the basis of the thought-based and feeling-based decisions. For the thought-based decisions, understanding consumer’s behaviour is done through the cognitive decision-making model which entails the process through which individual consumers combine the information items concerning the attributes to arrive at decisions (Labroo and Pocheptsova, 2016; Zander et al., 2017.). In addition, making judgements, individuals can use the compensatory model by weighing the negative and positive outcomes, while for the non-compensatory approach or model, the individuals reject the product after the negative evaluation.  Conversely, the feeling-based high effort judgment assumes affective decision making approach of which consumers arrive at decisions holistically through emotions or feelings. Accordingly, the approach is based on models and theories like the appraisal theory which concerns how emotions are defined by the way one appraises the situation, and as such, used in explanation how or to what extent do certain emotions affect future judgements and decision making choices (Ding and Tseng, 2015).  Moreover, the model is used through methods for understanding consumers like affective forecasting defined as the process of predicting how one will feels in the future while for the imagery approach, a person imagines him or herself consuming a brand, which equally plays a vital role in a person’s decision making (Yan, D. and Tsang, 2016).  

Nonetheless, the models differ in the manner in which decisions are affected. For the high-effort judgement, consumer characteristics including mood, expertise, time, extreme aversion, pressure as well as the metacognitive experiences influence a person’s decision to purchase or consume a brand ().  Another element is the task characteristics, which to a greater extent, entails the availability of information, trivial attributes and its format. Additionally, the presence of groups is equally vital; one can be influenced by his or her group or even consider individual or personal evaluation of the product to arrive at the decision (Pescher et al., 2014; San Yap and Yazdanifard, 2014).  

In essence, the high-effort decision making provides consumers with control and as such, they put more efforts in processing information and making informed choices whether to purchase or not to purchase a brand. Nonetheless, the model is different from the low-effort judgment decision making processing. Unlike the high-effort model, the low-effort is a short cut of which information is simplified, more so judgments being attributed to the easy-to-remember or recalls events (Samper et al., 2017).  Besides, individuals focus on processing the information using base-rate information of frequency of events, while generalization is common whereby the information one gets from a small number of people represents the general population (Hoyer et al., 2016). The approach is different from the high-effort which group influence is used by evaluating the appraisals and attributes that the groups assign to the product or service to make purchase decisions.  Furthermore, the low effort involved is evident when one unconsciously makes purchase decisions, especially arriving at a decision without being aware. However, like the high-effort decision making, there is some limited effort made in processing and making sense of the provided information, more the sequential and hierarchical breaking down of the information item including thinking, feeling and behaving, more so when one evaluates and assesses the post-purchase behaviours (Crowley and Zentall, 2013).  Also, the conscious low-effort decision making is made through simplifying strategies, for instance, when one finds a brand satisfying a need even when the choice may not be the best (Hoyer et al., 2016).   

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The low-effort decision making is different from the high-effort because of its simplified approach to making judgements and arriving at decisions (Crowley and Zentall, 2013). For instance, the high-effort approach embraces complex approaches to making decisions like the mental counting element of which a consumer categorizes sending and saving the decisions into various categories depending on the specific goals, transactions and situations.  On the other hand, the difference between the two models is evident when one makes decisions between two products which may not be easy to compare directly (Cutright and Samper, 2014). For the low-effort, there can be simplified conscious and unconscious information processing of the information of which the individual chooses the most convenient approach or perspective to understanding the information (Crowley and Zentall, 2013). However, the high-effort approach or model, being a complex judgement and decision making method will either use the alternative based whereby pros and cons are assessed or the attribute-based whereby consumers are forming abstract representation to help them comparing the products (Cutright and Samper, 2014). Concerning the group effect or influence in decision-making, in the high-effort model, for groups, self-representation is vital especially when individuals are focused at trying their best to minimize any risks and improve the unity of the group or making them happy while the self-concept entails a person satisfying his or her needs without having a specific group to answer to.    

Personal Application 

Several personal experiences resonate with the high-effort judgement in decision making. One of the personal experiences that I have noted is me buying Balenciaga Chanel LV clothes and bags. I made this purchase decision because Kendall Jenner also had. In this regard, my purchase decision entailed going the extra mile of processing the information to understand the value attached to the brand by looking at the individuals who own the brand. In this case, it resonates with the self-representation of which my tastes and preference was informed or influenced by a group.  Kendal Jenner is a role model whom I measure up with and I have to reduce the risks of disappointing this social group from the high-effort judgment approach (Youjin, 2017). However, in making the purchase decision, I engaged more in looking for information and processing it to understand how the final purchase or consumption will align with my perception of quality or value in a brand.  Therefore, I portrayed the recommendation that high-effort or hard work is necessary when consumers are making their purchase decisions because it gives them the sense of controlling the overall outcomes (Crowley and Zentall, 2013). In my case, I felt happy to have arrived at the decision myself and not depending on the product’s engagement and communication with the customers to influence how I processed and made meaning out of the product offering.  For instance, I saw the picture of the bag from her, while to put more efforts in understanding the brand and evaluating it as a valued brand, I sought more information by seeing the pictures of the bags and clothes from others websites, magazines, bloggers and twitter. Given that the product appeared many times in the social media and other platforms, I concluded that it was the very fashion and as such, was part of the fashion of the season. It made me think that with the information about the bags and clothes appearing in both high and low-end media, it was beautiful and as such, a must have for the season.  

In the situation whereby I was influenced by seeing the bags and clothes with friends and the information from the mass media, I applied the thought-based approach to making decision which entails how I combined the information items about the brand and arrived at a decision. Fundamentally, it involved applying my cognitive skills or capability in making decision (Pillai et al., 2015), and as such, arriving at a conclusion that this was the best fit for the season, or otherwise, perceived as beautiful. Therefore, it was a decision I made by weighing the positive and negative outcomes, which in this regard, I applied the compensatory model in assessing whether these products were the definition of beauty according to what my friends (social class or group) perceive as the best or the most beautiful attire for this season that a person must have. On the other hand, after purchasing the product, my post-purchase experience was that of guilt of which I felt guilty after buying the product. In this case, my decision boiled down to the self-influence of which the product did not align with what I attribute as being beautiful. Principally, I applied the non-compensatory model whereby a person rejects a product after evaluating the negative attributes (Hoyer et al., 2016).   

Apart from using the thought-based approach in making decision, I similarly applied the feeling-based model in making the decision, which entails how decisions are influenced by emotions and feelings (Grégoire et al., 2009). My emotions were evoked after viewing or seeing the pictures of the clothes and bags from friends as well as the comments of appraisal I had seen on blogs, twitter and other social networking sites.  In the same manner, I was influenced or driven by the appraisal theory which entails how a person’s emotions are subject to how he or she appraises a situation (MacInnis and De Mello, 2005). In the first place, I felt that the clothes and bags resonated with my definition of beauty and also what my friends believe and see as beauty. Conversely, after my purchase decision, I equally used emotions by having the feeling of guilt in purchasing or owning the clothes or bags.  From the feeling-based high effort judgment, my emotional judgment of this purchase will definitely affect or influence the future purchase behaviours if presented with the same situation (Pham, 2004).   Equally, the high-effort feeling-based decisions are defined by having an imagery approach to assessing or evaluating the brand, especially how one imagines and thinks of his or herself as consuming the brand or having a picture of brand consumption in the mind (Rodríguez-Ardura and Martínez-López, 2014). After seeing the pictures, I had developed the images in my mind downing the clothes and putting the bags and pictured myself as being part of the fashion for the new season by having beautiful attire.  

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Conclusion

In summary, the high-effort judgement entails how a consumer engages in a comprehensive processing of information, using both metacognitive processes and rational judgement.  In this model, an individual customer will be influenced by both thoughts and feelings. The thought process is the cognitive process of breaking down the product information and using various attributes like the pros and cons in arriving at the decision. On the other hand, the feelings approach entails the emotions that one attaches to the product or the brand. In essence, an individual will attach his or her feelings based on the value of the brand, either comparing to personal needs or the expectations and values held by the social group to which one belongs.  In the same manner, I applied the model in arriving at the decision to purchase Balenciaga Chanel LV as a the season brand, sought information from friends, websites and other mass media platforms and eventually perceived the products as beautiful but my post-purchase experience was guiltiness.

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