Knowledge, Information Mode, and the Attraction Effect
This article focuses on the complex role of category knowledge in context effects by examining how knowledge interacts with the mode of information presentation (verbal vs. numerical) to moderate the magnitude of the attraction effect. On the basis of Chakravarti and Lynch's framework for understanding context effects and prior research on consumer knowledge we delineate two distinct influences of knowledge on the choice process and demonstrate that the moderating influence of knowledge on the attraction effect varies with the information mode. When the choice set information is presented numerically, greater category knowledge attenuates the attraction effect, but when information is presented verbally, greater knowledge actually increases the size of the attraction effect. The implications of these findings for the role of knowledge in consumer context effects are discussed. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.
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