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Preference For New Product Information Sources

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Executive Summary

This paper examines the preferences of advice seekers for human information sources. The authors focus on advice providers who are high in technical expertise (technical knowledge) and/or social connections (are connected to many others). Somewhat contrary to intuition, information sources who are high on social connectivity are relatively more attractive for more innovative products. Consistent with this, a meta-analysis indicates that the correlation between knowledge and opinion leadership is lower for more innovative products. Study 2 demonstrates that less innovative individuals perceive a socially connected information source has more relevant advice for them while more innovative people believe experts are more relevant.

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