Broken Promises: Misleading Advertising, Disconfirmation and Generalized Distrust

Previous research shows that product failure not only has important implications for evaluations of the target product but can also carryover to evaluations of other closely related products. Such carryover effects are said to occur primarily through perceptions of similarity between the product categories and/or the brands. The current research identifies a generalized distrust effect as an alternative mechanism that produces even broader carryover effects. The distrust mechanism is identified through tests of both mediation and moderation. Finally, the carryover effects produced by generalized distrust are also shown to be highly persistent, in that they continue to exert a negative influence despite the opportunity for direct product testing. In general, the results suggest that consumer distrust is an important byproduct of expectancy disconfirmation that can have broad effects on subsequent product evaluations.


Peter Darke, Laurence Ashworth, and Kelley Main (2011) ,"Broken Promises: Misleading Advertising, Disconfirmation and Generalized Distrust", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 542.


Peter Darke, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada
Laurence Ashworth, School of Business, Queens University, Canada
Kelley Main, Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, Canada


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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