The Why and When of Context Effects

Martijn Willemsen, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Eric J. Johnson, Columbia University, USA
Some models of context effects are predominantly attribute-focused, some are alternative-focused. We tested properties of these models using process data gathered online from 400 'ordinary' US citizens. The data not only demonstrate the impact of presentation order and individual differences on the strength of compromise and attraction effects, but also identifies part of the underlying cognitive processes showing that alternative-focused processing prevails in the context effects studied. We present new methods for presenting these data, and employ multi-level models to capture heterogeneity in the strategy used and choices made, and to portray how processes change over time.
[ to cite ]:
Martijn Willemsen and Eric J. Johnson (2009) ,"The Why and When of Context Effects", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 82-85.