Topic:The Influence of Product Anthropomorphism on Comparative Judgment
Speaker:Echo Wan, Professor of Marketing, University of Hong Kong
Time:Monday, 25 June, 13:30-15:00
Location:Room 216, Guanghua Building 2
The present research proposes a new perspective to investigate the effect of product anthropomorphism on consumers’ comparative judgment strategy in comparing two anthropomorphized (versus two non-anthropomorphized) product options in a consideration set. Six experiments show that anthropomorphism increases consumers’ use of an absolute judgment strategy (versus a dimension-by-dimension strategy) in comparative judgment, leading to increased preferences for alternatives with a more favorable overall evaluation over alternatives with a greater number of superior dimensions. The effect is mediated by consumers’ perception of each anthropomorphized product alternative as an integrated entity rather than a bundle of separate attributes. The effect is found robust by directly tracing the process of participants’ information processing using MouseLab software and eye-tracking techniques, and by self-reported preferences and real consumption choices. Moreover, the effect is moderated by the motivation to seek maximized accuracy or ease. These studies have important implications for theories about anthropomorphism and comparative judgment as well as marketing practice.
Echo Wen WAN is Professor of Marketing at Faculty of Business and Economics in the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She received her bachelor’s degree from Nanjing University, China, master’s degree from National University of Singapore, Singapore, and Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, U.S.A. Echo’s research focuses on how social and environmental factors (e.g., social exclusion, brand anthropomorphism, social crowding) influence consumer behavior. Her research has been published in major academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. She has received the awards such as “MSI Young Scholar (2013)”, “Association for Consumer Research North America Conference, Best Working Paper (2016)”, “La Londe Annual Conference, Best Paper (2017)”, and “Faculty Outstanding Researcher (2015)”. She served as the Co-Chair for Association for Consumer Research Asia-Pacific Conference, 2015. She currently serves on the editorial boards for Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology.
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