Robert Gilmore, New York University
ABSTRACT - It was argued that when consumers decide between conflicting alternatives, they will appear to have stronger attitudes than indicated by multiattribute measures. An impression formation experiment demonstrated that the bipoLar scale response was more extreme (amplified) than predicted by the sum of the positive and negative unipolar scale responses and by the average of the individual attribute evaluations. Amplified responses only occurred when the attributes were affectively inconsistent. It was suggested that opposing response tendencies were simultaneously elicited when subjects responded on bipolar scales, but opposing tendencies were not simultaneously elicited when responses were made on unipolar scales. These conflicting tendencies produced processes which caused the amplified response. Unipolar scales should be used because they avoid conflict processes and because they provide additional information that bipolar scales can not provide.
[ to cite ]:
Robert Gilmore (1986) ,"", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, eds. Richard J. Lutz, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1986664.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, 1986      Page 664

AMPLIFICATION OF the BIPOLAR SCALE RESPONSE: WHY UNIPOLAR SCALES SHOULD BE USED

Robert Gilmore, New York University

ABSTRACT -

It was argued that when consumers decide between conflicting alternatives, they will appear to have stronger attitudes than indicated by multiattribute measures. An impression formation experiment demonstrated that the bipoLar scale response was more extreme (amplified) than predicted by the sum of the positive and negative unipolar scale responses and by the average of the individual attribute evaluations. Amplified responses only occurred when the attributes were affectively inconsistent. It was suggested that opposing response tendencies were simultaneously elicited when subjects responded on bipolar scales, but opposing tendencies were not simultaneously elicited when responses were made on unipolar scales. These conflicting tendencies produced processes which caused the amplified response. Unipolar scales should be used because they avoid conflict processes and because they provide additional information that bipolar scales can not provide.

For further information, write to:

Dr. Robert Gilmore / Department of Marketing / 500 Tisch Hall / New York University / New York, NY 10003

----------------------------------------