Forceful Phantom Firsts: Framing Experiences as Firsts Amplifies Their Influence on Judgment
LeBoeuf, Robyn A., Williams, Elanor F., & Brenner, Lyle A. (2014). Forceful phantom firsts: Framing experiences as firsts amplifies their influence on judgment. Journal of Marketing Research, 51 (4), 420-432.
48 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2010 Last revised: 8 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 15, 2010
First experiences are highly influential. Here, the authors show that non-first experiences can be made to seem like firsts and consequently to have a disproportionate influence on judgment. In six experiments, one piece of a series of information was framed to appear to have “first” status: for example, a weather report that appeared at the end of a sequence of weather reports happened to correspond to the first day of a vacation, and a customer review that appeared at the end of a sequence of hotel reviews happened to be the new year’s first review. Such information had greater influence on subsequent judgments (e.g., of the next day’s weather or of the hotel’s quality) than did identical information not framed as a first. This effect seems to arise largely because “phantom first” pieces of information receive greater weight than, but not necessarily more attention than, other pieces of information.
Keywords: framing, primacy effects, consumer judgment, behavioral decision theory, impression formation
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