Why consumers respond differently to absolute versus percentage descriptions of quantities

  • Weathers D
  • Swain S
  • Carlson J
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Abstract

Consumers often provide different evaluations of absolute and percentage descriptions of the same quantity. Prior research has attributed this to two factors: selection of distinct reference contexts and differential cognitive difficulty. However, in a preliminary study, we show that discrepancies in consumer evaluations of absolute and percentage quantities can arise even when these two factors are held constant. A series of studies provides evidence that (1) this effect is rooted in automatic, nonverbal associations between numerical stimuli and analogue magnitude coding and (2) the influence of analogue magnitude codes manifests across different kinds of quantities, different evaluations, and different processing modes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Analogue magnitude codes
  • Face values
  • Percentages
  • Price evaluations
  • Pricing

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Authors

  • Danny Weathers

  • Scott D. Swain

  • Jay P. Carlson

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