We’re more likely to submit a positive review of a product purchased than a negative one, desiring our past choices as rational and well-made. Retailers could embrace this bias, reinforcing a user's correct choice post-purchase.
This built-in mechanism aims to make us feel better about any poor decisions we make. It’s especially the case when we buy something expensive.
Given our emotional investment when preparing to buy something - any research done, our pre-existing brand loyalty and any influential advertising seen - many consumers will refuse to admit, in light of any shortcomings experienced with the product, that their decision was made in poor judgement.
This curious idea stems from the Principle of Commitment. Renowned psychologist Robert Cialdini highlights our deep-seated psychological desire to stay true to that commitment, because it directly relates to our self-image. We therefore attempt to rationalise any product problems seen, justify the choice made and protect our self-image.
Consumer Satisfaction and Post-purchase Intentions PDF (Harrison & Shaw, 2004)
The Dissonance Model in Post-Decision Product Evaluation PDF (Cohen & Goldberg, 1970)
Influence: Science and practice Book (Cialdini, 2009)