The Effect of Primed Reference Points on the Shape of Attribute-Value Functions, Attribute Importance, and Choice

Koert van Ittersum, Georgia Institute of Technology
Joost M.E. Pennings, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Can marketers influence attribute-value functions and as a result alter the importance of attributes in judgment, and choice? The authors show that priming (internal and external) reference points influences the shape of attribute-value functions and consequently the importance of attributes in judgment, and choice for decision makers with undefined value functions. These effects are attributed to the decision makers’ reference dependence and loss aversion in attribute-value function construction. Decision makers with well-defined value functions are not prone to the effects of priming. The results help bridge economic and behavioral decision theories and provide marketers with tools to more effectively position their products in the market place.
[ to cite ]:
Koert van Ittersum and Joost M.E. Pennings (2008) ,"The Effect of Primed Reference Points on the Shape of Attribute-Value Functions, Attribute Importance, and Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 701-702.