The prosperity of online shopping has led e-commerce vendors to provide increasingly rich information to enhance consumers’ shopping experience and satisfaction. However, there is little awareness that consumers cannot tolerate too much information. As human beings have a limited capacity to process information, online shoppers are easily confused when facing rich information, particularly when the information greatly exceeds their processing capacity. In contrast to previous research, which has focused on the formatting of appropriate information or user interfaces to solve the overload problem, this study explored a new solution based on the role of unconscious as opposed to conscious thought. By combining perspectives from the Unconscious Thought Theory.and Information Processing Theory in a unified model, we examined the role of thinking mode in consumers’ decision satisfaction, as well as information processing factors that affect the efficiency of unconscious thought in the presence of rich information. Results show that unconscious thought is an effective way to solve the information overload problem and is thus worthy of special attention in the design of e-commerce web pages. The study also contributes to both unconscious thought theory and information processing theory by exploring the interaction of the quality and quantity of information with thinking mode in affecting the quality of purchasing decisions.
Gao, Jie; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Ke; and Ba, Sulin, "Solving the Information Overload Problem: The Role of Unconscious Thought in Enhancing Online Purchasing Decisions" (2010). PACIS 2010 Proceedings. 129.