Study: Information order shapes bias

Jan 30, 2006

Duke University scientists say they've determined consumers are likely to give support to a brand that first appears to show superiority in its category.

The researchers say they looked at a previously unexplored market phenomenon: the powerful influence of "leader-driven primacy" on consumer choice.

"Our research shows how information order can be used to create a tentative preference for one option over another," explain the researchers. "Once a leader emerges, consumers build support for it by biasing their interpretation of new information to favor it. The consequence of this process is that it is possible to dictate which brand consumers ultimately select, merely by changing the order of the information."

The team examined leader-driven primacy using backpacks, winter coats and restaurants. In one study, two options were intentionally made to be equivalent overall. In another, one choice was markedly superior. In both studies, the researchers were able to influence which brand was favored, noting "this is the first paper to show that information order can be used to influence choice in such a way."

The research will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: How were fossil tracks made by Early Triassic swimming reptiles so well preserved?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds need for education about online privacy

Feb 17, 2015

The final report of a major national study on how New Zealanders manage their personal information in online commercial transactions, online government transactions and on social networking sites, is being ...

Recommended for you

Predicting human crowds with statistical physics

Feb 27, 2015

For the first time researchers have directly measured a general law of how pedestrians interact in a crowd. This law can be used to create realistic crowds in virtual reality games and to make public spaces safer.

Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

Feb 27, 2015

A total of 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly a quarter of the global population – are forced to pay bribes to gain access to everyday public services, according to a new book by academics at the Universities of Birmingham ...

Broken windows thesis springs a leak

Feb 27, 2015

The broken windows theory posits that minor misdemeanors, like littering or graffiti spraying, stimulate more serious anti-social behavior. LMU sociologists now argue that the idea is flawed and does not ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.