The Press Release is Adapted from materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
To see the full journal article:
- Lee et al. Disambiguating the Role of Ambiguity in Perceptual Assimilation and Contrast Effects. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 090623095822070 DOI: 10.1086/605299
The snippet follows:
When Context Matters: Consumers Link Unfamiliar Products To Surrounding Items:
"Authors Michelle P. Lee (Singapore Management University) and Kwanho Suk (Korea University) set out to examine a paradox of consumer behavior: Sometimes consumers are swayed by the surrounding context in which a product appears (an 'assimilation effect'). In other situations, a product that appears among cheaper items seems to be more expensive ('contrast effect').
The researchers designed a series of three experiments where they asked participants for evaluations of restaurants and cars. In the car studies, participants were asked to rate car models for how expensive or inexpensive they thought they were. Unbeknownst to them, only a subset of the cars was critically important."