The Influence of Negated Product Benefits on Evaluations

ABSTRACT - Product benefits are sometimes communicated as negations (Anot difficult to use@) rather than as affirmations (Aeasy to use@). Results from three experiments suggest that the processing and persuasive impact of a negation depends on resource allocation. When resources are substantial, a product is preferred when a benefit is described as Anot difficult to use@ than when it is Anot easy to use.@ When resources are limited, the product is evaluated more favorably when it is Anot easy to use@ than Anot difficult to use.@ This preference reversal suggests that in processing a negation, the affirmation (Adifficult@) initially serves as the basis for evaluation, and if additional resources are allocated, the negator (Anot@) is incorporated. Most importantly, the preference reversal occurs despite evidence that the product benefit is encoded, integrated, and available in memory. This suggests that the negation is less accessible than its affirmation at the time of forming evaluations.



Citation:

Prashant Malaviya, Susan Jung Grant, and Brian Sternthal (2003) ,"The Influence of Negated Product Benefits on Evaluations", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Darach Turley and Stephen Brown, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 220.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2003      Page 220

THE INFLUENCE OF NEGATED PRODUCT BENEFITS ON EVALUATIONS

Prashant Malaviya, INSEAD, France

Susan Jung Grant, University of Colorado, USA

Brian Sternthal, Northwestern University, USA

ABSTRACT -

Product benefits are sometimes communicated as negations ("not difficult to use") rather than as affirmations ("easy to use"). Results from three experiments suggest that the processing and persuasive impact of a negation depends on resource allocation. When resources are substantial, a product is preferred when a benefit is described as "not difficult to use" than when it is "not easy to use." When resources are limited, the product is evaluated more favorably when it is "not easy to use" than "not difficult to use." This preference reversal suggests that in processing a negation, the affirmation ("difficult") initially serves as the basis for evaluation, and if additional resources are allocated, the negator ("not") is incorporated. Most importantly, the preference reversal occurs despite evidence that the product benefit is encoded, integrated, and available in memory. This suggests that the negation is less accessible than its affirmation at the time of forming evaluations.

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Authors

Prashant Malaviya, INSEAD, France
Susan Jung Grant, University of Colorado, USA
Brian Sternthal, Northwestern University, USA



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2003



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