Cross Category Referencing Effects on Consumer Judgment and Decision-Making


This research explores whether the salience of value for money information of a different and unrelated product category influences the decision-making in the focal category. I examine whether value for money contrast and numerical price information of the cross category referent may influence decision-making in the focal category. Specifically, I explore whether a referent from an inferior value for money category makes the focal product category appear more desirable, and increase willingness to pay in the focal category. In four studies, I find broad support for the proposition that under certain conditions, cross-category referents may influence decision-making in a focal category. Specifically I find that (a) inferior value for money referents influence willingness-to-pay, but not choice of premium over standard product; and (b) this effect is attenuated when the referent is inconsistent with its value for money contrast at the category versus option level, and when the focal task is perceived as being more difficult.



Cross Category Referencing, Category referencing, Consumer judgment, Consumer behavior, Decision-making