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What to Say When: Influencing Consumer Choice by Delaying the Presentation of Favorable Information

  • Xin Ge
  • Gerald H�ubl
  • Terry Elrod
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    Delaying the presentation of some favorable information about an alternative (e.g., a product, service, brand, store, or cause) until after consumers have completed their pre-choice screening can increase that alternative’s choice share. While such a delay reduces the alternative’s chance of surviving the screening, it can actually increase its probability of ultimately being chosen. Evidence from five experiments demonstrates this preference-enhancing effect of the delayed presentation of favorable information, and it illustrates the underlying preference dynamics across decision stages associated with such a delay. The findings also indicate that this preference-enhancing effect is driven by a combination of two mental mechanisms—a shift in the decision weights of attribute dimensions (rendering dimensions on which a delay occurs more influential across all alternatives) and an overall preference boost for the alternative about which information is delayed.

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

    Volume (Year): 38 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1004 - 1021

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/661937
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