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How to make a 29% increase look bigger: the unit effect in option comparisons

Mario Pandelaere UGent, Barbara Briers and Christophe Lembregts (2011) JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH. 38(2). p.308-322
abstract
Quantitative information can appear in different units (e. g., 7-year warranty = 84-month warranty). This article demonstrates that attribute differences appear larger on scales with a higher number of units; expressing quality information on such an expanded scale makes consumers switch to a higher-quality option. Testifying to its practical importance, expressing the energy content of snacks in kilojoules rather than kilocalories increases the choice of a healthy snack. The unit effect occurs because consumers focus on the number rather than the type of units in which information is expressed (numerosity effect). Therefore, reminding consumers of alternative units in which information can be expressed eliminates the unit effect. Finally, the unit effect moderates relative thinking: consumers are more sensitive to relative attribute differences when the attribute is expressed on expanded scales. The relation with anchoring and implications for temporal discounting and loyalty programs are discussed.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
JUDGMENT, RANGE, MONEY, NUMERICAL INFORMATION, PREFERENCE REVERSALS, EURO, CONSEQUENCES, EVALUABILITY, ALTERNATIVES, HYPOTHESIS
journal title
JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH
J. Consum. Res.
volume
38
issue
2
pages
308 - 322
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000297844600007
JCR category
BUSINESS
JCR impact factor
3.101 (2011)
JCR rank
12/113 (2011)
JCR quartile
1 (2011)
ISSN
0093-5301
DOI
10.1086/659000
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2035607
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2035607
date created
2012-02-16 14:33:46
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:42:03
@article{2035607,
  abstract     = {Quantitative information can appear in different units (e. g., 7-year warranty = 84-month warranty). This article demonstrates that attribute differences appear larger on scales with a higher number of units; expressing quality information on such an expanded scale makes consumers switch to a higher-quality option. Testifying to its practical importance, expressing the energy content of snacks in kilojoules rather than kilocalories increases the choice of a healthy snack. The unit effect occurs because consumers focus on the number rather than the type of units in which information is expressed (numerosity effect). Therefore, reminding consumers of alternative units in which information can be expressed eliminates the unit effect. Finally, the unit effect moderates relative thinking: consumers are more sensitive to relative attribute differences when the attribute is expressed on expanded scales. The relation with anchoring and implications for temporal discounting and loyalty programs are discussed.},
  author       = {Pandelaere, Mario and Briers, Barbara and Lembregts, Christophe},
  issn         = {0093-5301},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH},
  keyword      = {JUDGMENT,RANGE,MONEY,NUMERICAL INFORMATION,PREFERENCE REVERSALS,EURO,CONSEQUENCES,EVALUABILITY,ALTERNATIVES,HYPOTHESIS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {308--322},
  title        = {How to make a 29\% increase look bigger: the unit effect in option comparisons},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/659000},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Pandelaere, Mario, Barbara Briers, and Christophe Lembregts. 2011. “How to Make a 29% Increase Look Bigger: The Unit Effect in Option Comparisons.” Journal of Consumer Research 38 (2): 308–322.
APA
Pandelaere, M., Briers, B., & Lembregts, C. (2011). How to make a 29% increase look bigger: the unit effect in option comparisons. JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, 38(2), 308–322.
Vancouver
1.
Pandelaere M, Briers B, Lembregts C. How to make a 29% increase look bigger: the unit effect in option comparisons. JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH. 2011;38(2):308–22.
MLA
Pandelaere, Mario, Barbara Briers, and Christophe Lembregts. “How to Make a 29% Increase Look Bigger: The Unit Effect in Option Comparisons.” JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH 38.2 (2011): 308–322. Print.