Effect of Congruent Information on Information Processing in Over-The-Counter Drug Facts Panel



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Objective: The primary objective of this study was to assess the effect of congruent information obtained by chunking of information on information processing using over-the-counter (OTC) drug facts panel. The secondary purpose was to evaluate the effect of information placement on information processing. Methods: This was an experimental, cross-sectional study in which the participants were randomly exposed to the three labels. Two experimental labels were designed based on concepts of chunking, congruency and information placement. Uses, Directions and Other Information were defined as a ‘chunk’. Label A had Warnings placed after the chunk. Label B had Warnings placed above the chunk. Placement of information was evaluated by manipulating warnings placement. These two labels were compared with the Label C. Information processing was measured using the OTC-label evaluation process model where the variables were label comprehension, ease of use, attitude towards the label, product evaluation and purchase intention. The respondents were randomly assigned one label to measure label comprehension. They were then shown all three labels together and were asked to compare and respond to the items for other dependent variables. Involvement was measured using a seven item scale. Demographic variables were also noted. Data was coded and analyzed using SAS® 9.3 at an apriori significance level of 0.05. MANCOVA, ANCOVA, Dunnett post-hoc analyses, Scheffe post-hoc analyses were done to test the study objective. Results: A total of 249 surveys were collected with a response rate of 81.4%. The mean age of the sample was 36.8 (± 9.6) years and 55.4% were females. A majority of them had atleast a college level education and worked in the healthcare field(). MANCOVA showed a statistically significant difference between the label types (p<0.00010. ANCOVA and post hoc Dunnett’s revealed that the mean label comprehension, ease of use, attitude towards the label, product evaluation and purchase intention were significantly higher for Label A as compared to Label B and Label C (p<0.0001). Level of involvement has a significant role in consumer attitude towards the label. Label A with the order uses, directions, other information and warnings was the most preferred. Conclusion: Congruent information increases information processing but only with placement of information. Consumer attitude is affected by the level of consumer involvement.



Congruent information, Information placement, Chunking