'Do-it-alls versus specialists' studied

Feb 13, 2007

A U.S. consumer research scientist says people perceive products that emphasize a single feature as being more effective than those with multiple features.

"The current research breaks new ground by showing that a product that specializes on a single attribute is perceived to be superior on that attribute relative to an all-in-one option -- even when the description of the specialized and the all-in-one options on the focal attribute is exactly the same," said Alexander Chernev of Northwestern University.

Chernev pointed to the "zero-sum heuristic" in consumer attitudes to explain the phenomenon. In other words, consumers believe options are balanced against one another, such that advantages in one aspect are likely to be compensated by disadvantages in another area.

But interestingly, said Chernev, when the multifunction product was priced higher than the single-function product, it was no longer perceived to be inferior.

"The findings reported in this research also imply that the widely use strategy of pricing specialized and all-in-one options at parity might, in fact, be sub-optimal," he said.

The study appears in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: How music listening programmes can be easily fooled

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Driverless shuttle will be on the move in UK

37 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —"Autonomous public transport" is on the minds of planners who envision self-driving vehicles that would cross over short distances, suited for airport transport, industrial sites, theme parks ...

Superfish points fingers over ad software security flaws

3 hours ago

A little-known Silicon Valley startup was caught in a firestorm of criticism this week for making software that exposed Lenovo laptop users to hackers bent on stealing personal information. But Superfish Inc. ...

Huge spring tides draw crowds to French Atlantic coast

22 hours ago

France kicked off nearly a month of exceptionally large spring tides Saturday, as tourists flocked to coastal areas to witness spectacularly high water levels ahead of the so-called "tide of the century" ...

Recommended for you

How music listening programmes can be easily fooled

14 hours ago

For well over two decades, researchers have sought to build music listening software that can address the deluge of music growing faster than our Spotify-spoilt appetites. From software that can tell you ...

Nature journal to begin offering double-blind peer review

Feb 23, 2015

Well known and respected journal, Nature, will begin next month offering researchers who submit their work for peer review, the option of having it done via the double-blind method—whereby both submitters and re ...

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.