To Buy or Not to Buy?

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To Buy or Not to Buy?

Thomas from Michigan decided to replace the two front tires on his truck because winter was approaching and they were beginning to look worn. He suspected that the tires probably could hold out longer, but wanted to be on the safe side. When he went to shop for tires at a store that had been recommended to him by a good friend, the mechanic of the shop advised him to replace all four tires. Putting faith in the mechanics recommendation, Thomas spent more than he had planned and bought all four tires instead of just replacing the front two. Afterward, because he had spent so much money for the tires that he wasn’t even sure he needed, he experienced cognitive dissonance about the decision. Hoping to dispel his doubts, he compared prices of tires at other places and discussed his decision with his co-workers the next day that had experienced buying tires. The evidence that Thomas collected convinced him that he used good judgment in replacing his old tires, and he also believed that he had gotten a good bargain.

  • Recall an occasion when you experienced cognitive dissonance about a purchase. Describe the event, and explain what you did about it.
  • Did anyone such as a family member, friend, or colleague play a role in your cognitive dissonance about your purchase?
  • What did you learn from this experience overall and the factors and influences that play a part in you the consumer’s decision making process.
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