Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colleges pay attention: How do top ten rankings influence applications?

Date:
December 10, 2013
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
Ranked lists are everywhere. If you want to pick out a college, restaurant, hotel, or doctor, chances are there’s a Top 10 list that can tell you which ones are the best. According to a new study, moving a mere two spots up or down a ranked list can greatly impact consumer perception.

Ranked lists are everywhere. If you want to pick out a college, restaurant, hotel, or doctor, chances are there's a Top 10 list that can tell you which ones are the best. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, moving a mere two spots up or down a ranked list can greatly impact consumer perception.

"We tend to hear people talking about 'Top 10' or 'Top 25' lists," write authors Mathew S. Isaac (Seattle University) and Robert M. Schindler (Rutgers University, Camden). "Our impressions were that there might be an exaggerated difference in how something is perceived when it is on opposite sides of what we call category borders (for example, between 10 and 11 or 25 and 26)."

In a series of experiments, the authors showed study participants ranked lists of consecutively numbered items. They were specifically interested in finding exaggerated differences around these category borders.

As part of their research, the authors obtained data from the Graduate Management Admissions Council. This included almost half a million people who took the GMAT exam over a three-year period. They then matched exam dates with the names of the business schools where the test takers wanted their exam scores sent (this was used as an indication of the schools to which they were applying).

For each of the three years, the researchers recorded each school's rank on the annual U.S. News & World Report list. They found that if a business school's ranking passed a round-number group border (such as rising from number 12 to number 10 or from number 26 to number 24), the rank change was the best predictor of the increase in the number of overall applications to the school.

"An organization whose products and services are subject to third-party ranked lists should invest more aggressively in improving its rank if it is just on the outside looking in to a round-number category. By contrast, a similar rank-increasing effort by an organization that is already ranked number 9 or number 24 might not provide cost-effective results," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mathew S. Isaac and Robert M. Schindler. The Top-Ten Effect: Consumers’ Subjective Categorization of Ranked Lists. Journal of Consumer Research, April 2014

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Colleges pay attention: How do top ten rankings influence applications?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210113413.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2013, December 10). Colleges pay attention: How do top ten rankings influence applications?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210113413.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Colleges pay attention: How do top ten rankings influence applications?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210113413.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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