Information Cues As Signals of Quality


Dhruv Grewal and Kent B. Monroe (1995) ,"Information Cues As Signals of Quality", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Flemming Hansen, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 356.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, 1995      Page 356


Dhruv Grewal, University of Miami

Kent B. Monroe, University of Illinois

Consumers face a myriad of choices for most buying decisions. The intense competition for the limited consumer dollar has created a confusing buying environment negating the classic assumption of economic theory that buyers have perfect information about products and prices. Additionally, buyers' may lack the ability to process all available information (e.g., numerous price-promotions offered by retailers). In this uncertain environment, buyers may use information cues (e.g., price, guarantees, ad execution stylesChumor) to hasten their decision making processes (i.e., evaluation of products and services) (Dodds, Monroe and Grewal 1991).

This special session examines on how various cues in advertisements and product information packages may be used by buyers as quality signals. Specifically, the special session focuses on three divergent cuesCprice (and other extrinsic cues), guarantees and humor in advertisements (an executional style). Each of these papers examines the effect of a specific information cue on buyers' perceptions of quality (e.g., product, service, advertiser, ad). The session papers have implications for consumer behavior researchers (both European and North American), manufacturers, advertisers, retailers and public policy makers. The session should generate an interesting discussion.

The first paper (Grewal and Monroe 1995) presents a conceptual framework integrating past research. The proposed conceptual framework helps outline the effects of a variety of information cues on buyers' product evaluations and behavioral intentions. Past research was synthesized to develop this framework. Furthermore, research pertaining to the effects of price on buyers' perceptions of quality are moderated by the presence of other information cues (e.g., advertised reference prices, brand and store name and contextual cues) are discussed. The second paper (Lassar, Marmorstein and Sarel 1995) focuses on the role of guarantees as a cue of product quality. The results of an experiment are reported. The third paper (Costley and Graby 1995) focuses on whether the ad executional styles associated with humor affect consumer evaluations (quality) of brands and ad attitudes. They also report the results of an experiment.


Costley, Carolyn L. and Francoise Graby (1995), "Humor Cues to Quality," Copenhagen Summer Conference of the Association for Consumer Research.

Dodds, William B. and K. B. Monroe and Dhruv Grewal (1991), "The Effects of Price, Brand, and Store Information on Buyers' Product Evaluations," Journal of Marketing Research, 28 (August), 307-19.

Grewal, Dhruv and Kent B. Monroe (1995), "Price as a Signal of Quality," Copenhagen Summer Conference of the Association for Consumer Research.

Lassar, Walfried, Howard Marmorstein, and Dan Sarel (1995), "Examining the Effectiveness of Service Guarantees: The Role of Process, Specificity, and Prior Experience," Copenhagen Summer Conference of the Association for Consumer Research.



Dhruv Grewal, University of Miami
Kent B. Monroe, University of Illinois


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 1995

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