When More May Be Less:The Effects of Regulatory Focus on Responses to Maximal/Minimal Comparative Frames

Shailendra Jain, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, USA
Nidhi Agrawal, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, USA
Durairaj Maheswaran, New York University, Stern School of Business, USA
We examined the consequences of regulatory focus on exposure to two types of comparative advertising frames – a maximal (“Brand A is superior to Brand B”) and a minimal claim (“Brand A is equivalent or similar to brand B”). Experiment 1 featured brand vs. brand comparisons while experiment 2 compared a brand with a normative standard. For promotion-focused people, a maximal frame simply represented a gain over a minimal frame leading to more favorable elaboration and greater persuasion. To prevention-focused individuals, maximal frames represented either a “no loss” or a “deviation from the norm”. The former representation led the two frames to be equally persuasive. The latter representation led to greater negative elaboration of maximal frames, making them less persuasive.
[ to cite ]:
Shailendra Jain, Nidhi Agrawal, and Durairaj Maheswaran (2007) ,"When More May Be Less:The Effects of Regulatory Focus on Responses to Maximal/Minimal Comparative Frames", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 200-205.