Multiple reference points in sequential hedonic evaluation: An empirical analysis

Ghoshal, T and Yorkston, E and Nunes, J C and Boatwright, P (2014) Multiple reference points in sequential hedonic evaluation: An empirical analysis. Journal of Marketing Research, 51 (5). pp. 563-577.

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Abstract

Marketers frequently offer a variety of communications, brands, and service encounters that customers evaluate sequentially. When customers make these evaluations, their previous experiences in the sequence influence their current evaluation. The authors propose that these prior experiences serve as multiple reference points against which the target stimulus is judged, creating rival co-occurring comparison effects. Using real-world and experimental data, they find that assimilation and contrast effects occur simultaneously: there is assimilation to the first score within a sequence and contrast with the immediate predecessor as well as with extremes experienced earlier in the sequence. The authors document the moderating effects of extreme first stimuli, domain similarity, and individual factors of mood and expertise. They provide different recommendations for sequence construction on the basis of whether the marketer's goal is fairness, accuracy, or influencing choice. This research is unique in (1) showing how several preceding evaluations can each have an impact on a subsequent evaluation at the same time and (2) using real-world data to do so.

ISB Creators:
ISB CreatorsORCiD
Ghoshal, TUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Context effects; Hedonic evaluation; Reference point effects; Sequential judgments
Subjects: Marketing
Depositing User: Trina Mukherjee
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 07:09
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2014 07:12
URI: http://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/221
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmr.10.0075
Publisher OA policy: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0022-2437/
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