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The influence of suggestions of reference groups in the compromise effect


  • Chuang, Shih-Chieh
  • Cheng, Yin-Hui
  • Hsu, Chun-Ting


Context effect researchers who have examined the mechanism underlying the compromise effect suggest that justification is a critical factor leading people to select the compromise option, thus implying the importance of interpersonal influence on consumer choice. However, little research has empirically investigated the link between the compromise effect and interpersonal influence. This study addresses that gap in the literature by analyzing whether reference group suggestions determine the strength of the compromise effect. Three experiments test the associated hypotheses. The results show that suggestions made by reference group members have a significant influence on the magnitude of the compromise effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Chuang, Shih-Chieh & Cheng, Yin-Hui & Hsu, Chun-Ting, 2012. "The influence of suggestions of reference groups in the compromise effect," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 554-565.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:554-565 DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2011.11.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bettman, James R & Luce, Mary Frances & Payne, John W, 1998. " Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 187-217, December.
    2. Shih-Chieh Chuang & HsiuJu Yen, 2007. "The impact of a product’s country-of-origin on compromise and attraction effects," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 279-291, December.
    3. Simonson, Itamar & Nowlis, Stephen M, 2000. " The Role of Explanations and Need for Uniqueness in Consumer Decision Making: Unconventional Choices Based on Reasons," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 49-68, June.
    4. Park, C Whan & Lessig, V Parker, 1977. " Students and Housewives: Differences in Susceptibility to Reference Group Influence," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 102-110, Se.
    5. Burnkrant, Robert E & Cousineau, Alain, 1975. " Informational and Normative Social Influence in Buyer Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 206-215, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pinger, Pia & Ruhmer-Krell, Isabel & Schumacher, Heiner, 2016. "The compromise effect in action: Lessons from a restaurant's menu," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 14-34.

    More about this item


    Reference group; Compromise effect; Context effect;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing


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