Cam: a Spreading Activation Network Model of Subcategory Positioning When Categorization Uncertainty Is High

Joseph Lajos, INSEAD, France
Zsolt Katona, INSEAD, France
Amitava Chattopadhyay, INSEAD, Singapore
Miklos Sarvary, INSEAD, France
We develop a spreading activation model that we call the Category Activation Model (CAM) to predict where within a category structure consumers are likely to position a subcategory that they have created to accommodate a new, hybrid product. Based on this model, we hypothesize that the probability that an individual will position a new category subordinate to a particular category i is proportional to the relative number of categories that are already subordinate to i. We report the results of three studies that support this hypothesis, and provide evidence that accessibility is an underlying mechanism.
[ to cite ]:
Joseph Lajos, Zsolt Katona, Amitava Chattopadhyay, and Miklos Sarvary (2009) ,"Cam: a Spreading Activation Network Model of Subcategory Positioning When Categorization Uncertainty Is High", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 647-650.