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, 141 (2), 117-25

Mere Exposure and the Endowment Effect on Consumer Decision Making


Mere Exposure and the Endowment Effect on Consumer Decision Making

Gail Tom et al. J Psychol.


Previous researchers (e.g., J. A. Bargh, 1992, 2002) demonstrated the importance of nonconscious processes on consumer choice behavior. Using an advertisement, the authors determined the effect of two nonconscious processes--the mere exposure effect, which increases object preference by increasing consumer exposure to an object, and the endowment effect, which increases object valuation by providing consumer possession of an object--on consumer behavior. Although the mere exposure effect and endowment effect did not produce an interaction, they produced independent effects. The endowment effect increased object valuation but not object preference. The mere exposure effect increased object preference but not object valuation. Thus, at the unconscious level, an increase in object preference does not lead to an increase in object valuation, nor does an increase in object valuation lead to an increase in object preference. The authors discuss the importance of developing measures of unconscious process in advertising effectiveness.

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