Consumer knowledge discrimination

Kishore Gopalakrishna Pillai, Michael Brusco, Ronald Goldsmith, Charles Hofacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to introduce knowledge discrimination to consumer research. It also examines the antecedent effects of objective knowledge and confidence in knowledge on consumer knowledge discrimination. Research in psychology has sought to distinguish between calibration and discrimination, two related skills in probabilistic judgments. Though consumer research has sought to examine knowledge calibration, the construct of knowledge discrimination has not attracted any attention.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper reports on three studies which use a cross-sectional design using a structured questionnaire. The hypotheses are tested using regression. In addition, the paper also reports the results of an experimental study.

Findings: The paper finds that the objective knowledge has a positive effect on discrimination. But confidence in knowledge does not have a consistent effect on discrimination. The paper also finds that feedback improves discrimination.

Research limitations/implications: The study adds a new dimension to the examination of metaknowledge and metacognitions in the consumer domain.

Practical implications: The study suggests some ways in which companies/government agencies can improve consumer knowledge discrimination.

Social implications: Knowledge discrimination is expected to reduce consumer vulnerability and enhance consumer competence.

Originality/value: This is the first study to examine knowledge discrimination in the consumer domain. Prior research has observed that there could be a trade-off between calibration and discrimination. Hence, the study of knowledge discrimination can inform the study of knowledge calibration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-100
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Cognition
  • Confidence
  • Knowledge discrimination
  • Knowledge calibration
  • Metaknowledge
  • Metacognitions

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