Relative Vs. Absolute Comparison of Prices

In the context of two experiments, the authors examine the manner in which high and low prices are compared. They find that a comparison of sale price to regular price may be more likely to involve a relative (percent) assessment, whereas a comparison of sale price to a competitor’ price may be more likely to involve an absolute difference assessment. The authors find that horizontal (i.e., side-by-side) placement of prices may result in more holistic processing, and a greater tendency to estimate discounts in relative terms. Conversely, vertical (i.e., columnar) placement facilitates digit-by-digit comparison, and therefore may result in more specific calculation procedures (i.e., a greater tendency to compute absolute numerical difference).


Keith Coulter and Pilsik Choi (2010) ,"Relative Vs. Absolute Comparison of Prices", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 725-726 .


Keith Coulter, Clark University, USA
Pilsik Choi, Clark University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

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