The Role of Subjective Ease in Price Comparisons

Some mental computations are easier (e.g., 5.00 – 4.00) than others (e.g., 4.99 – 3.98). Does such processing fluency induced by computational complexity in anyway affect our numerical judgments? On the basis of recent insights into the effects of processing fluency, we tested the hypothesis that people will misattribute their subjective experience induced by computational complexity to the analog distance between the numbers. Consistent with our hypothesis, participants in our experiments perceived the numerical difference to be larger when the difference was easier to compute than when it was difficult to compute, even when the arithmetic difference was not larger. We show that the ease of computation effect manifests in judgments of discount magnitude, price difference as well as weight difference (Experiments 1 and 2). However, this effect manifests only when the judgment requires mental computations. When the participants did not have to do the mental computations to make the judgment, processing fluency had no effect on judgments (Experiment 3). Finally, when the participants were explicitly warned that the computation is either easy or difficult, processing fluency had no effect on judgments (Experiment 4).



Citation:

Manoj Thomas (2007) ,"The Role of Subjective Ease in Price Comparisons", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 28-30.

Authors

Manoj Thomas, New York University, USA



Volume

NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007



Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More

Featured

When do people learn more from others’ prosocial behavior? A meta-analysis of prosocial modeling effect

Haesung Annie Jung, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Eunjoo Han, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Eunjin Seo, Texas State University
Marlone Henderson, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Erika Patall, University of Southern California, USA

Read More

Featured

N12. Untangling Different Envy Episodes and their Effects on Brand Attitude

Kirla C Ferreira, EAESP-FGV, Brazil & City University of London, UK
Delane Botelho, EAESP-FGV
Suzana Valente Battistella-Lima, EAESP-FGV

Read More

Featured

“Slim-As-Luxury” Effect: Product Shape as Input to Luxury Perceptions

Ji Jill Xiong, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Yu Ding, Columbia University, USA
Gita Venkataramani Johar, Columbia University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.