Customers' reactions to technological products: The impact of implicit theories of intelligence

Seyed Shahin Sharifi*, Mauricio Palmeira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This research investigates customers' reactions to technological products and argues that due to different perspectives on implicit theories of intelligence, people would have different reactions to these products framed as complex versus simple. In two experiments, product complexity is manipulated by including some steps or processes to use a product (i.e., complex) versus minimum steps to use a product (i.e., simple). The results indicate that although product complexity has a negative impact on product interest, customers' beliefs about the degree of malleability of their intelligence can interact with product complexity, thereby impacting their reactions to complex, technological products. In particular, the results indicate that for a technological product perceived as complex, incremental theorists have more favorable reactions than entity theorists, while for a technological product perceived as simple, incremental and entity theorists have similar reactions. Further, this research finds that individuals low in negative effort beliefs react more favorably to complex products, compared to those high in negative effort beliefs. This research concludes with theoretical and managerial implications and offers some directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Entity theorists
  • Incremental theorists
  • Intelligence theories
  • Product adoption
  • Product complexity
  • Technological products


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