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Consumer Skepticism of Advertising Claims: Testing Hypotheses from Economics of Information


  • Ford, Gary T
  • Smith, Darlene B
  • Swasy, John L


Propositions regarding consumers' differential skepticism for search, experience, and credence claims are tested in an experiment using adult consumers. The results provide clear support for Nelson's (1970) hypotheses that consumers are more skeptical of experience than search attribute claims and more skeptical of subjective than of objective claims. No support is found, however, for the Darby and Karni (1973) hypothesis that consumers will be more skeptical of credence than of experience attribute claims or for the hypothesis that consumers will not be less skeptical of experience claims for low-priced goods. Copyright 1990 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Ford, Gary T & Smith, Darlene B & Swasy, John L, 1990. "Consumer Skepticism of Advertising Claims: Testing Hypotheses from Economics of Information," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 433-441, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:16:y:1990:i:4:p:433-41
    DOI: 10.1086/209228

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