The Generalized Sleeper Effect Phenomenon: Investigating the Symmetry of the Effect Under Different Type of Message Valence

ABSTRACT - This paper reviews the theoretical propositions presented in past research to explain the occurrence of the sleeper effect and sets the ground for further research as to its universality. Because measurement of the sleeper effect has traditionally involved initial positive information and a negative discounting cue, an interesting generalization of this finding may be achieved by testing its symmetry. Namely, there is need to take into consideration the fact that more and more mixed messages are nowadays being advocated on a wide range of products and as a result, individual’s temporal judgments may be biased. It is hypothesized that when the message provided to the individual is mostly negative (mixed message) and the discounting cue that follows is positive, the sleeper effect will be observed, but its slope will be downward. This hypothesis is based on the Dissociative Cue Hypothesis and the Availability-Valence Theory premises. An opposite prediction is derived from research on time-based positivity biases. According to its prediction, the direction of change is upwards in the case of initial mixed message. The two competing hypotheses illuminate the need for further research on examining the generalizability of the sleeper effect phenomenon.



Citation:

Elana Goldin and David Mazursky (1998) ,"The Generalized Sleeper Effect Phenomenon: Investigating the Symmetry of the Effect Under Different Type of Message Valence", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3, eds. Basil G. Englis and Anna Olofsson, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 120.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3, 1998      Page 120

THE GENERALIZED SLEEPER EFFECT PHENOMENON: INVESTIGATING THE SYMMETRY OF THE EFFECT UNDER DIFFERENT TYPE OF MESSAGE VALENCE

Elana Goldin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

David Mazursky, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

ABSTRACT -

This paper reviews the theoretical propositions presented in past research to explain the occurrence of the sleeper effect and sets the ground for further research as to its universality. Because measurement of the sleeper effect has traditionally involved initial positive information and a negative discounting cue, an interesting generalization of this finding may be achieved by testing its symmetry. Namely, there is need to take into consideration the fact that more and more mixed messages are nowadays being advocated on a wide range of products and as a result, individual’s temporal judgments may be biased. It is hypothesized that when the message provided to the individual is mostly negative (mixed message) and the discounting cue that follows is positive, the sleeper effect will be observed, but its slope will be downward. This hypothesis is based on the Dissociative Cue Hypothesis and the Availability-Valence Theory premises. An opposite prediction is derived from research on time-based positivity biases. According to its prediction, the direction of change is upwards in the case of initial mixed message. The two competing hypotheses illuminate the need for further research on examining the generalizability of the sleeper effect phenomenon.

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Authors

Elana Goldin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
David Mazursky, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3 | 1998



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