Categorization by Groups

32 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2006

See all articles by Rebecca Hamilton

Rebecca Hamilton

Georgetown University

S. Puntoni

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Nader T. T. Tavassoli

London Business School - Department of Marketing

Date Written: August 22, 2006

Abstract

Categorization is a core psychological process central to consumer and managerial decision-making. While a substantial amount of research has been conducted to examine individual categorization behaviors, relatively little is known about the group categorization process. In two experiments, we demonstrate that group categorization differs systematically from that of individuals: groups created a larger number of categories with fewer items in each category. This effect is mediated by groups’ larger knowledge base and moderated by groups’ ease in achieving consensus. While neither broader nor narrower categories are normatively superior, more integration or distinction among concepts may be desirable for a given objective. Thus, it is important for those relying on the outputs of categorization tasks, such as web site designers, store managers, product development teams, and product marketing managers, to understand and consider the systematic differences between group and individual categorization.

Keywords: Decision-making, Categorization, Group and Individual Categorization

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Rebecca and Puntoni, Stefano and Tavassoli, Nader T. T., Categorization by Groups (August 22, 2006). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2006-044-MKT. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=925986

Rebecca Hamilton (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

537 Hariri Building
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Stefano Puntoni

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Nader T. T. Tavassoli

London Business School - Department of Marketing ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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