Why Consumers Respond Differently to Absolute Versus Percentage Descriptions of Quantities

Marketing Letters, Forthcoming

26 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2012

See all articles by Danny Weathers

Danny Weathers

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Scott D. Swain

Clemson University

Jay Carlson

Union College - Graduate Management Institute

Date Written: May 15, 2012

Abstract

Consumers often provide different evaluations of absolute and percentage descriptions of the same quantity. Prior research has attributed this to two factors: selection of distinct reference contexts and differential cognitive difficulty. However, in a preliminary study, we show that discrepancies in consumer evaluations of absolute and percentage quantities can arise even when these two factors are held constant. A series of studies provides evidence that (1) this effect is rooted in automatic, nonverbal associations between numerical stimuli and analogue magnitude coding and (2) the influence of analogue magnitude codes manifests across different kinds of quantities, different evaluations, and different processing modes.

Keywords: Analogue Magnitude Codes, Face Values, Percentages, Pricing, Price Evaluations

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Weathers, Danny and Swain, Scott D. and Carlson, Jay, Why Consumers Respond Differently to Absolute Versus Percentage Descriptions of Quantities (May 15, 2012). Marketing Letters, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2128368

Danny Weathers

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge ( email )

Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States

Scott D. Swain (Contact Author)

Clemson University ( email )

Clemson, SC 29631
United States

Jay Carlson

Union College - Graduate Management Institute ( email )

1 Union Avenue
Schenectady, NY 12308-3151
United States

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