Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Moore School of Business

First Advisor

Randall L Rose

Second Advisor

Caglar Irmak

Abstract

Consumer research to date has posited that if we are cued to think of others, then we are likely to be influenced by the type of others we consider. Thus, research on product evaluations has focused on motivational accounts of either favoring or disfavoring a product contingent upon which specific reference group the product is associated with. In this dissertation I advance the theory that product evaluations are also cognitive in nature. Due to egocentric biases of self availability and self positivity I propose that the cueing of an 'other' lowers the valence of thoughts available (relative to thoughts of the self only) at the time of judgment, resulting in less favorable product evaluations. Across six studies with multiple product categories and multiple specified-market labeling methods, I show that consumers' attitude toward and willingness to pay for products with specified-market labels are less favorable than for products without specified-market labels. I provide evidence that these effects occur even when a motivational explanation would predict otherwise.

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