This study investigated the effects of perceived risk on consumers' information-seeking prior to purchasing. Data were analyzed in two ways: (1) how perception of performance, financial, physical, social and psychological risk determined the degree of information-seeking toward each source; and (2) how perceived risk affected consumers' information-seeking pattern. The results revealed that four types of risk had differential effects, and that social risk was the strongest factor in determining the degree of information-seeking. We proposed the following classification scheme of information seekers. The "high information-seeking group" perceived high risk. The "low information-seeking group" perceived low risk. The "personal information-seeking group" and the "personal-plus-magagine group" had a moderate degree of risk perception. The information-seeking pattern of the last two groups differed depending on the consumers' images of information sources.
Japanese Journal of Social Psychology 9 (3), 195-205, 1994
The Japanese Society of Social Psychology