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Consumer decisions: Investigating individual differences related to conceptual priming effects (implicit memory) using a preference judgement task

Howson, Matthew (2012) Consumer decisions: Investigating individual differences related to conceptual priming effects (implicit memory) using a preference judgement task. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Consumers are consistently exposed to brand names presented with brand claims and warnings, prior to making a product choice. Implicit memory has been implicated in consumer choice, and previous research has suggested affective information such as statements with positive or negative valence influence choice by way of subtle, subconscious (implicit memory) priming effects. Specific research into these effects in product selection based on statement valence found no such priming effect, and the study presented aimed to investigate if individual differences mediate priming effects, as measured by the Need for Affect, Need to Cognise and Need to Evaluate scales. The experiment used a preference judgement task and found a significant interaction for individuals low in NTE in priming effect for neutral statement selection, and significant effects of item type across the experiment indicating a greater number of positive selections over negative in each condition. The overall magnitude of priming was lower than comparable studies which made any observed effects small, and thus reliability of results as reflecting a true effect questionable. The results are discussed in relation to implicit memory and consumer cognition, along with rationale for further research, and alternative experimental methods for development in conjunction with individual difference scales.

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