Recent research on the unit effect has suggested that consumers tend to ignore relevant unit information and over-rely on numeric magnitudes injudgments (e.g., perceiving the difference between 700 and 900 on a 1000-point quality scale to be larger than the difference between 7 and 9 on a10-point scale). The current work investigates the nature of the unit effect by studying the role of different modes of evaluation, and types ofinformation processing, on the unit effect. Specifically, three studies demonstrate that the unit effect occurs when options are evaluatedsimultaneously and attenuated when options are evaluated sequentially. The current article builds on research concerning comparative versusselective information processing. It demonstrates that, when information is processed in a comparative rather than selective manner, commonelements in the decision (i.e., units) are more likely to be edited out, resulting in the unit effect

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Journal of Consumer Psychology
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Schley, D., Lembregts, C., & Peters, E. (2017). The role of evaluation mode on the unit effect. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 27(2), 278–286. doi:10.1016/j.jcps.2016.07.001