The Effect of Communication Norms on Interpretations of Meaningless Information

Alison Jing Xu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China
Robert S. Wyer, Jr., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China
This research explores the interactive effect of communication source and consumer knowledge on interpretations of literally meaningless product information in an advertisement. When the source is a professional magazine, adding literally meaningless information into an ad increases product evaluations because consumers interpret the information to be informative and favorable. When the source is a popular magazine, however, adding literally meaningless information into the ad will decrease product evaluation because consumers may attribute their inability to comprehend the information to the advertiser’s intentions to be persuasive. Moreover, these effects are more evident when consumers perceive themselves to be knowledgeable about the type of product being advertised.
[ to cite ]:
Alison Jing Xu and Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (2008) ,"The Effect of Communication Norms on Interpretations of Meaningless Information", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 717-718.