The impact of advertising and evidence on consumer judgments: An extension of research on hypothesis testing.
MacInnis, Deborah J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPrior research on how advertising and product evidence interact in the formation of product evaluations shows that advertising induces higher consumer expectations, which in turn lead to a disposition to confirm when presented with product evidence. It has been argued that a hypothesis testing process is in operation in these situations. Specifically, consumers initially form some hypotheses about a product when exposed to ad information. Subsequently, when presented with evidence information, the consumers purportedly test their hypotheses to either confirm or disconfirm them. However, research on hypothesis testing has rarely specified the conditions under which advertising and product evidence will yield interaction effects, and has moreover been limited to ambiguous product evidence. This research extends previous hypothesis testing research by incorporating more general conditions of product evidence, such as unambiguous attribute information. In addition, this research extensively investigates the alternative processes involved in various conditions of advertising and evidence. Two types of advertising and evidence were explicitly incorporated in the study design: (1) attribute-oriented ad and quality-oriented ad, and (2) attribute-oriented evidence and quality-oriented evidence. A 3 (attribute-oriented ad, quality-oriented ad, and no-ad) x 6 (three types of attribute-oriented evidence, two types of quality-oriented evidence, and no-evidence) between-subjects design was used in the study. Study results show that ad and evidence factors have an interaction effect on product evaluations. These effects are attributable to confirmation or disconfirmation in matched modality of attribute ad and evidence. Alternative processes were hypothesized under different combinations of ad and evidence types. Results showed that processing mode was contingent on the type of ad and evidence. Subjects used a hypothesis testing process when an attribute ad and attribute evidence were of matched modalities. However, when provided with a quality ad and attribute evidence, subjects evaluated the brand as if they were provided with evidence alone. When quality evidence was preceded by either an attribute or a quality ad, subjects evaluated the brand through an assimilative encoding process. That is, when an impression of positive quality is formed by an ad, this encoded quality concept is retrieved and used to interpret incoming evidence information in an assimilative fashion. Supplemental measures of recall, individual attribute ratings, and brand extension evaluations support these inferred processes.
Degree ProgramBusiness Administration