The 1 in 1,000,000: context effects of how numbers cue different kinds of incidental environmental anchoring in marketing communications
Koçaş, Cenk and Döğerlioğlu Demir, Kıvılcım (2019) The 1 in 1,000,000: context effects of how numbers cue different kinds of incidental environmental anchoring in marketing communications. Journal of Business Research . ISSN 0148-2963 (Print) 1873-7978 (Online) Published Online First http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.01.027
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.01.027
Drawing from the literature on incidental environmental anchoring, alphanumeric brand names, and number activation, this article demonstrates that random numerical values used in marketing communications can influence consumers’ price perceptions. Surprisingly, even one number can represent many different incidental values depending on the context. The mechanism potentially involves consumers unknowingly using relevant associations to modify numbers to fit the given context. The authors examine this multifaceted nature of single numerical values in three studies, each of which concentrates on a specific association (i.e., shifting decimal, negative, and inverse) that modifies the given number to suit the context. In a fourth study, they establish external validity of the associations. Overall, this research demonstrates that a single number appearing in marketing communications can be multifaceted and that people employ one of the automatically generated values—the one most applicable to the given context—as an incidental anchor when making decisions.
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