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 dinosaur arms turned into bird wings

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Putting children first, when media sets its own rules

6 hours ago

In an age when a significant number of parents won't let their child walk down the street to post a letter because of "stranger danger", it's ironic that many pay little attention while media organisations ...

Teaching computers the nuances of human conversation

Sep 12, 2014

Computer scientists have successfully developed programs to recognize spoken language, as in automated phone systems that respond to voice prompts and voice-activated assistants like Apple's Siri.

Recommended for you

How dinosaur arms turned into bird wings

11 minutes ago

Although we now appreciate that birds evolved from a branch of the dinosaur family tree, a crucial adaptation for flight has continued to puzzle evolutionary biologists. During the millions of years that elapsed, wrists went ...

User comments : 0