60-Second Science

Men Won't Ask for Shopping Directions Either

A study in the Journal of Consumer Marketing finds that men are less likely than women to ask for expert advice when shopping, in this case for wine. Karen Hopkin reports

They say that men don’t like to ask for directions. Well, that reluctance to seek expert advice may extend to the shopping cart. Because a study in the Journal of Consumer Marketing finds that guys also will likely avoid asking salespeople for suggestions about wine.

Researchers from the University of New Hampshire set their sights on vino because lots of people drink the stuff, so lots of people purchase it. And choosing which wine to bring to a party or to offer the boss is one of those things that can induce different degrees of anxiety, depending on one’s experience and general level of snobbishness, I’m sorry, confidence.

The scientists surveyed more than 500 participants, asking whether and where they might turn for advice when selecting a wine for themselves or for others. And they found that women tend to talk to friends, family, or the guy stocking the shelves, before making a purchase. Whereas guys are more likely to go it alone or to rely on information they’d found online or next to the register. So wine merchants take heed. Ads seem to work on guys. Now all they have to do is find their way to the liquor store.

—Karen Hopkin

[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

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