Memory Accessibility and Product Judgment
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This section presents abstracts of studies which investigated the effects of accessibility of information in memory on product judgment. The first paper, by Tybout, Stemthal, Malaviya, Bakamitson, and Park, addresses a paradoxical set of results. Prior research suggests that asking consumers to generate multiple reasons to buy a product can have both positive and negative effects on product judgments. The authors investigate the conditions under which these effects occur. Their results show that the effects of generating reasons are moderated by the accessibility of the reasons in memory. When the reasons are highly accessible or inaccessible, asking for more reasons prompts more favorable judgments. Between these extremes in accessibility, asking for more reasons prompts less favorable judgments. The authors argue that these results are driven by the independent operation of two memory processes, one involves using the content of the retrieved information as a basis for judgment, such as that evaluation is based on the diagnosticity of the accessible information, while the other involves monitoring of the retrieval process and then making a judgment based on how easy it is to retrieve the information, such as the evaluation is based on the accessibility of the information. When accessibility of reasons in memory is very low, consumers do not perceive ease of retrieval to be diagnostic of their feelings about a product.
- product judgments
- fiuency effects