Knowing too much: Expertise-Induced false recall effects in product comparison

Ravi Mehta, Joandrea Hoegg, Amitav Chakravarti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A long history of research has shown that experts' well-developed knowledge structures provide numerous advantages in memory-based decisions and tasks. More recently, research has shown that in certain situations experts' more detailed knowledge can hinder memory performance by resulting in the creation of false memories. The current research adds to this growing literature by showing how experts can fall prey to a different type of false memory when making product comparisons. Four studies demonstrate that in a product comparison context, in their attempt to make options more comparable, experts inadvertently "fill in the gap" by aligning nonalignable features in memory. This results in the false recall of aligned features that did not appear in the original descriptions. Experts' higher sense of accountability for their judgments, coupled with their highly developed schemata, is identified as the mechanism underlying the effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-554
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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