Are consumers motivated to seek out experiences that enhance their appreciation within a product category—and if so, does their level of experiential expertise (or consumption knowledge) within a product category bias the types of experiences they value and pursue? These questions are central to the present research, which explores the premise that consumers value the accrual of consumption knowledge as a means of enhancing their hedonic appreciation of future consumption experiences in a product category. Four experiments demonstrate that a consumer’s perceived level of experiential knowledge determines the types of novel consumption experiences that are sought within a product category. Specifically, novices seek a diverse set of experiences that broaden their consumption knowledge in a product category, whereas experts seek a focused set of experiences that deepen their consumption knowledge in a product category. Implications for current conceptualizations of both novelty seeking and consumption knowledge are discussed.


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