The Relationship between task complexity and information search: The role of self-efficacy



Prior research suggests the complexity of a product choice task is inversely related to the extent of consumers' external information search. The resource-matching perspective holds that cognitive effort (e.g., external information search) is greatest when available cognitive resources (e.g., as determined by self-efficacy) match the cognitive demands of a task (e.g., perceived task complexity). Within a brand-choice context, the relationship between self-efficacy and extent of information search appears nonmonotonic. In support of the resource-matching perspective, consumers conduct the most extensive information search when their self-efficacy matches perceived task difficulty. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.