Journal of Marketing Behavior > Vol 1 > Issue 1

The BDT Effect and Future: A Reply to John Lynch and Norbert Schwarz

Itamar Simonson, Stanford University, USA,
Suggested Citation
Itamar Simonson (2015), "The BDT Effect and Future: A Reply to John Lynch and Norbert Schwarz", Journal of Marketing Behavior: Vol. 1: No. 1, pp 59-73.

Published: 18 May 2015
© 2015 I. Simonson

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In this article:
1. The BDT Effect - The Means and Methods Fit the Mission
2. Alternative Predictions Regarding the Impact of the Information Environment on Consumer Decision Making


Lynch and Schwarz offer different assessments and perspectives regarding the ("(nearly) accomplished") mission and characteristics of BDT research and its contribution to our field. Whereas Lynch and I are largely in agreement, Schwarz questions the value of the “mission,” refers to the challenged economics assumptions as a mere “strawman,” and is critical of the BDT focus on effects instead of offering a coherent process theory of decision making. In the first section of this reply, I argue that (a) establishing robust effects followed by a study of moderators, processes, and rivals, was the most effective approach given the field’s mission and audience, and (b) no single framework or theory can account for the many different ways in which the value maximization assumption is violated and decisions are made. Regarding the proposed next research program to study the interactions between the evolving information environment and consumer judgment and choice, both Lynch and Schwarz offer alternative hypotheses. Thus, for example, they both disagree with the suggestion that the ability to easily access more and better information tends to produce better decisions. I discuss the important issues raised by Lynch and Schwarz and the factors that moderate the decision making impact of the information environment. As our exchange demonstrates, this is a rich and important area that offers a wide range of topics and competing predictions that can be addressed in future research.