Categories Create Mindsets: The Effect of Exposure to Broad versus Narrow Categorizations on Subsequent, Unrelated Decisions

Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 47, pp.659-671, August 2010

40 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2009

See all articles by Gülden Ülkümen

Gülden Ülkümen

University of Southern California

Amitav Chakravarti

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Vicki Morwitz

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

We find that exposure to different types of categories or assortments in a first task creates a mindset that changes how consumers process information. These mindsets in turn, have a spillover effect that alters consumers’ decision making in a variety of subsequent and unrelated tasks, from basic cognitive behaviors (e.g., grouping), and consumer decisions (e.g., new product adoptions), to more general decision making strategies (e.g., susceptibility to heuristics). Consumers previously exposed to broad assortments or categorizations base their decisions on fewer pieces of information, typically those made salient by the environment. In contrast, consumers who have previously been exposed to narrow assortments or categorizations, employ multiple pieces of information, both salient and non-salient, without exerting any extra effort. Consequently, prior exposure to broad versus narrow categorizations leads to greater susceptibility to some common context effects and to heuristic decision making.

Keywords: categorization, heuristics, new products, mindset, decision making

JEL Classification: M31, M30, M10, M00

Suggested Citation

Ulkumen, Gulden and Chakravarti, Amitav and Morwitz, Vicki, Categories Create Mindsets: The Effect of Exposure to Broad versus Narrow Categorizations on Subsequent, Unrelated Decisions (2010). Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 47, pp.659-671, August 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1440141

Gulden Ulkumen (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

701 Exposition Boulevard
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Los Angeles, CA 90089
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HOME PAGE: http://mymarshall.usc.edu/portal/subapps/digitalmeasures/faculty.jsp?surveyId=890407

Amitav Chakravarti

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

Vicki Morwitz

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

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