Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How To Manipulate Perceptual Focus In Advertisements

Date:
July 28, 2007
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
In a new study, researchers demonstrate how advertisements can be manipulated to cause overemphasis of a particular feature, and increase the likelihood that a certain product is chosen. Their finding runs contrary to economic models, which assume that choices are based on stable preferences and should not be influenced by the inclusion of inferior options.

In a new study from the August issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers from Northwestern University demonstrate how advertisements can be manipulated to cause overemphasis of a particular feature and increase the likelihood that a certain product is chosen. Their finding runs contrary to economic models, which assume that choices are based on stable preferences and should not be influenced by the inclusion of inferior options.

"By showing the impact of perceptual focus on consumer preferences, this research demonstrates that in addition to the many overt ways companies can draw attention to products, the visual arrangement of alternatives can also have a significant influence on their relative choice shares," explain Ryan Hamilton, Jiewen Hong, and Alexander Chernev.

In a series of fascinating experiments, the authors show how grouping together options with similar characteristics can emphasize dissimilar options and help them pop-out. For example, consider a comparison of two sofas, A and B. Sofa A has softer cushions; Sofa B is more durable. In a head-to-head comparison, sofa A is preferred by less than half of the survey participants -- 42.3 percent.

However, if sofas A and B are grouped with three other sofas, all of which have a low rating for cushion softness, then preference for sofa A jumps to 77.4 percent. One of these things is not like the others, and that apparently makes it more desirable -- a phenomenon the authors term "perceptual focus effect."

"The research presented in this article has practical implications for manufacturers and retailers in determining the size and composition of their product assortments," conclude the authors. "In particular, when designing product displays, in both print and electronic media, companies need to be aware of the potential impact of the visual characteristics of choice alternatives on consumer preferences."

The researchers also found that how consumers process information can influence how susceptible they are to perceptual focus effect. Those who rely on intuition are more likely to choose a perpetually focal option. In addition, having participants perform an analytical test before making a product choice drained logical reasoning resources and increased the likelihood that the person would choose the perpetually focal option.

Reference: Ryan Hamilton, Jiewen Hong, and Alexander Chernev. "Perceptual Focus Effects in Choice" Journal of Consumer Research: August 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "How To Manipulate Perceptual Focus In Advertisements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070725143447.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2007, July 28). How To Manipulate Perceptual Focus In Advertisements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070725143447.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "How To Manipulate Perceptual Focus In Advertisements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070725143447.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins