Categorization By Groups

Rebecca Hamilton, University of Maryland
Stefano Puntoni, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
Nader T. Tavassoli, London Business School, UK
Categorization is a core psychological process that is central to consumer and managerial decision-making. While substantial research has been conducted to examine individual categorization behaviors, relatively little is known about the group categorization process. In three experiments, we demonstrate that group categorization differs systematically from individual categorization: groups create a larger number of categories with fewer items in each category. This effect is mediated by groups’ larger knowledge base and moderated by groups’ ease in achieving consensus. Moreover, we show that categorization context affects the structure of individuals’ memory and subsequent category membership decisions such as evaluations of brand extensions.
[ to cite ]:
Rebecca Hamilton, Stefano Puntoni, and Nader T. Tavassoli (2008) ,"Categorization By Groups", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 80-83.