The Impact of Subtle Environmental Cues on Product Attitude Predictions
29 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2005
Date Written: 2004
For many product decisions, consumers predict the product attitudes of other persons. These predictions are typically made in retailing environments consisting of many cues that passively activate mental concepts. We investigate if and how these externally activate concepts influence attitude predictions. Depending on the activated concept, we distinguish two possible processes that might bias the predictions: retrieval and comparison. In study 1 and 2, subtle primed trait concepts are found to elicit a process that selectively retrieves trait congruent prediction cues, ultimately leading to assimilation effects. When extreme exemplars are externally activated, like in study 3, comparison processes are observed, resulting in a contrast effect on the attitude predictions.
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