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NEW PATTERNS IN CONSUMER DECISION MAKING

LAMENTING INFORMATION OVERLOAD is nothing new. Historian Ann Blair found scholars complaining as early as 1545 about a “confusing and harmful abundance of books.”1 These days you hear so much about information overload and its paralyzing effects on decision making that sometimes you wonder how consumers make decisions at all. While we agree that people face unprecedented amounts of information (and that indeed some are overwhelmed by it), most consumers can handle the information just fine. Consumers are actually very good at identifying that slice of information that is most relevant to them. They can use information selectively and efficiently and benefit from it without being overwhelmed or overloaded. ...

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