Guiltless Gluttony: the Asymmetric Effect of Size Labels on Size Perceptions and Consumption

Aradhna Krishna, University of Michigan
Nilufer Z. Aydinoglu, Koc University, Turkey
Brian Wansink, Cornell University
We have proposed and demonstrated that size labels can be used as a semantic heuristic in making size judgments. A series of three laboratory and one field experiments show that size labels influence not only size perception but also actual and perceived consumption; and that their effect is most pronounced under conditions of limited cognitive resources and increased concern for accuracy. Among our results we demonstrate that consumers are more likely to accept a larger item being labeled as small by the marketer compared to a smaller item being labeled as large, an asymmetric effect that we call “guiltless gluttony”.
[ to cite ]:
Aradhna Krishna, Nilufer Z. Aydinoglu, and Brian Wansink (2008) ,"Guiltless Gluttony: the Asymmetric Effect of Size Labels on Size Perceptions and Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 684-685.