Modeling the Process of Attribute Belief Formation

Gary M. Erickson, University of Washington
Carl Obermiller, University of Washington
ABSTRACT - A model of belief formation is developed to account for beliefs based on interpretation of data, inferences from other beliefs, and halo effects from overall attitudes. The processes are discussed and the following hypotheses are proposed: H1: When data-based information is available, beliefs will be formed by a process of interpretation of the data. H2: When data-based information is not available, people will infer target beliefs from other belief values. H3: When neither interpretation nor inferences are possible, affective halo effects will occur.
[ to cite ]:
Gary M. Erickson and Carl Obermiller (1986) ,"Modeling the Process of Attribute Belief Formation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, eds. Richard J. Lutz, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 663.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, 1986      Page 663

MODELING THE PROCESS OF ATTRIBUTE BELIEF FORMATION

Gary M. Erickson, University of Washington

Carl Obermiller, University of Washington

ABSTRACT -

A model of belief formation is developed to account for beliefs based on interpretation of data, inferences from other beliefs, and halo effects from overall attitudes. The processes are discussed and the following hypotheses are proposed:

H1: When data-based information is available, beliefs will be formed by a process of interpretation of the data.

H2: When data-based information is not available, people will infer target beliefs from other belief values.

H3: When neither interpretation nor inferences are possible, affective halo effects will occur.

The hypotheses are tested with two-stage least squares regression on survey data, which shows some support for a hierarchy of belief formation processes, depending upon the availability of relevant information. It is suggested that controlled experimental settings are needed to more thoroughly investigate the complex processes contributing to belief formation.

For further information, write to:

Professor Gary M. Erickson / Department of Marketing & I.B. DJ-10 / University of Washington / Seattle WA 98195

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