Attraction, Repulsion, and Attribute Representation

Shane Frederick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Leonard Lee, Columbia University
We show that the magnitude and even direction of context effects are sensitive to the manner in which the attributes of choice options are represented. When attributes were represented numerically, as they typically are, we found strong attraction effects. However, when one attribute was represented graphically (e.g. as a photo of a television’s image quality; or as the shaded area of a probability wheel), we found either no attraction effect, or a significant effect in the opposite direction—which we termed the “repulsion effect.”
[ to cite ]:
Shane Frederick and Leonard Lee (2008) ,"Attraction, Repulsion, and Attribute Representation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 122-124.