A Dirty Word or a Dirty World? Attribute Framing, Political Affiliation, and Query Theory

Psychological Science, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 86-92, 2010

7 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2011  

Elke U. Weber

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology

David J. Hardisty

Sauder School of Business

Eric J. Johnson

Columbia Business School - Marketing

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Date Written: 2010

Abstract

We explored the effect of attribute framing on choice, labeling charges for environmental costs as either an earmarked tax or an offset. Eight hundred ninety-eight Americans chose between otherwise identical products or services, where one option included a surcharge for emitted carbon dioxide.The cost framing changed preferences for self-identified Republicans and Independents, but did not affect Democrats' preferences. We explain this interaction by means of query theory and show that attribute framing can change the order in which internal queries supporting one or another option are posed. The effect of attribute labeling on query order is shown to depend on the representations of either taxes or offsets held by people with different political affiliations.

Keywords: attribute framing, constructed preference, consumer choice, political affiliation, query theory

Suggested Citation

Weber, Elke U. and Hardisty, David J. and Johnson, Eric J., A Dirty Word or a Dirty World? Attribute Framing, Political Affiliation, and Query Theory (2010). Psychological Science, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 86-92, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1951652

Elke U. Weber (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

David J. Hardisty

Sauder School of Business ( email )

Canada
604-827-3158 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/Faculty/People/Faculty_Members/Hardisty_David

Eric J. Johnson

Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

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