Ten years ago a study was conducted to examine the use of in-store information sources across different ages, in the context of Christmas gift purchases. The survey that was administered to individuals after the holiday season analyzed the influence of personality, situational and demographic variables on the extent of information acquisition. Patterns of in-store search behaviour and degree of variable influence were identified across the four age groups.
Laroche, Cleveland and Browne noticed a lack of empirical studies comparing information search behaviours in different age groups. With a growing population of individuals aged 60 or more in the Western world, more exploration on age-related differences in consumer behaviour had to be…show more content… Factors affecting the type and extent of a consumer’s search are personal, psychological, and situational. Previous research operationalizes information search with single-item measures. However this paper conceptualizes information search as multidimensional, and therefore multiple items are included to measure in-store information acquisition. In-store information sources are categorized into personal, such as a sales clerk or shopping assistant, and non-personal, such as merchandise displays or product attributes. Other research into information acquisition speaks to the use of heuristic strategies, the influence of previous product-related experiences, and the use of shopping aids. Next, previous research can attribute differences in age to changes in the external environment and processing abilities. As individuals age, a reduction in the variety of social roles they assume and a reduction in physical energy may attribute to being unable to adapt and undertake extensive information search. As well, with declining cognitive and perceptual skills, elderly fail to encode new information as thoroughly as younger individuals. However it is suggested that elderly learning deficits are due to an inability to ignore irrelevant stimuli. Research therefore assumes that elderly are more likely to use heuristic processing, rely on personal sources of information gathering,