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Inference Effects without Inference Making? Effects of Missing Information on Discounting and Use of Presented Information


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  • Simmons, Carolyn J
  • Lynch, John G, Jr
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    Subjects evaluated a focal set of single-attribute product descriptions along with descriptions of competing brands that systematically altered what attributes subjects perceived as missing from the product descriptions. This manipulation selectively increased thoughts about undescribed attributes and led to (1) reduced effects of described-attribute levels on product evaluations and (2) lowered evaluations of a target set of products. In the past, similar effects have been interpreted as evidence that subjects incorporated inferred missing-attribute values in their evaluations. However, the results of the present study suggest that neither effect was mediated by inferencemaking. Process tracing data showed that noting an attribute as missing was usually not followed by inferences about its value. Copyright 1991 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 17 (1991)
    Issue (Month): 4 (March)
    Pages: 477-91

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:17:y:1991:i:4:p:477-91

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    Cited by:
    1. Larceneux, Fabrice & Carpenter, Marie, 2008. "Third party labeling and the consumer decision process: the case of the PGI European label," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12755, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. Marc Jekel & Andreas Glockner & Arndt Broder & Viktoriya Maydych, 2014. "Approximating rationality under incomplete information: Adaptive inferences for missing cue values based on cue-discrimination," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 9(2), pages 129-147, March.
    3. Simonson, Itamar & Kivetz, Ran, 2000. "The Effects of Incomplete Information on Consumer Choice," Research Papers 1609, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. Moon, Junyean & Tikoo, Surinder, 1997. "Consumer Use of Available Information for Making Inferences about Missing Information," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 135-146, June.
    5. Andrea Stanaland & May Lwin & Patrick Murphy, 2011. "Consumer Perceptions of the Antecedents and Consequences of Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 47-55, August.
    6. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Davies, Antony & Cline, Thomas W., 2005. "A consumer behavior approach to modeling monopolistic competition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 797-826, December.
    8. Shih-Chieh Chuang & Danny Tengti Kao & Yin-Hui Cheng & Chu-An Chou, 2012. "The effect of incomplete information on the compromise effect," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(2), pages 196-204, March.
    9. Louviere, Jordan J. & Islam, Towhidul, 2008. "A comparison of importance weights and willingness-to-pay measures derived from choice-based conjoint, constant sum scales and best-worst scaling," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(9), pages 903-911, September.
    10. Thomas Kramer & Caglar Irmak & Lauren Block & Veronika Ilyuk, 2012. "The effect of a no-pain, no-gain lay theory on product efficacy perceptions," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 517-529, September.
    11. Larceneux, Fabrice & Carpenter, Marie, 2008. "Third party labeling and the consumer decision process," Les Cahiers de Recherche 891, HEC Paris.


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