Brands Status and Reverse Placebo Effects: High Status Products Inhibit Performance Despite Being Preferred

Renée Gosline, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Sachin Banker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Jeffrey Lee, Harvard Business School, USA
We extend research on marketing placebo effects by investigating how brand status affects performance. We show that “reverse” placebo effects of high status products occur due to social comparison contrast effects: participants infer higher standards while lowering expectancies of their own relative performance. This effect is heightened among self-monitors.
[ to cite ]:
Renée Gosline, Sachin Banker, and Jeffrey Lee (2013) ,"Brands Status and Reverse Placebo Effects: High Status Products Inhibit Performance Despite Being Preferred", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 41, eds. Simona Botti and Aparna Labroo, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.