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Automatic Construction and Use of Contextual Information for Product and Price Evaluations

Rashmi Adaval and Kent B. Monroe
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 28, No. 4 (March 2002), pp. 572-588
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/338212
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/338212
Page Count: 17
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Automatic Construction and Use of Contextual Information for Product and Price Evaluations
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Abstract

The context in which a product is seen influences the internal standard that consumers use to judge both this and other products. Two experiments showed that a product was judged as less expensive in a high‐priced context than in a low‐priced context even though the product’s actual price was recalled as higher in the first condition than in the second. This effect of the initial context carried over to a new product encountered 48 hours later and also influenced price estimates of products from other categories. Additional experiments demonstrated that the standard that people use to evaluate products can be influenced by exposure to high and low stimulus values that are below participants’ perceptual thresholds. Thus, the effects of internal standards on product judgments can occur without an awareness of the conditions that led to the construction of this standard.

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