Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Publisher’s Version

Publication Date

2-2010

Abstract

We examine how perceptions of a product are affected by the presence of extreme exemplars and find that ambiguity of the product is an important moderator. When the target is a novel one, perceptions assimilate to the context, whereas when it is highly familiar, perceptions are immune to the influence of context. This is as predicted by the interpretation-comparison model. Contrary to this model, however, we find that effects on perceptions are not always assimilative in nature. When product ambiguity falls between the extremes of novel and highly familiar, a contrast effect in perception can occur. This is consistent with the selective accessibility model, which says that a perceptual contrast effect occurs when conditions orient respondents to dissimilarities rather than to similarities among context and target items. In the experiments conducted, context-induced response language effects were circumvented by employing forced-anchor scales.

Keywords

Assimilation/Contrast, Categorization, Experimental Design and Analysis (ANOVA), Situation/Context Issues

Discipline

Marketing | Sales and Merchandising

Research Areas

Marketing

Publication

Journal of Consumer Research

Volume

36

Issue

5

First Page

890

Last Page

897

ISSN

0093-5301

Identifier

10.1086/605299

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/605299

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