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Abstract

This study examines external information search for nondurable products using a relatively unobtrusive measurement technique in an effort to minimize the demand bias inherent in many previous search studies. An attempt is made to explain differences in search behavior using five groups of predictive variables: decision task, shopping lifestyles, general shopping behavior, personality, and demographics. The findings support the notion of very limited search in the purchase of common, inexpensive, low involvement goods. Variables related to the decision task appear to be the best predictors of external information search behavior.