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Effects of Construal Level on the Price-Quality Relationship

Dengfeng Yan, Jaideep Sengupta
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/659755 376-389 First published online: 1 August 2011

Abstract

Drawing on construal level theory, this research proposes that consumers’ reliance on price (vs. feature-specific product attributes) for making quality inferences will be enhanced when the judgment is psychologically distant (vs. close). For example, the impact of price (attributes) on quality inferences should increase (decrease) when these inferences are made with regard to another person rather than oneself. A series of experiments provides support for this thesis. In addition, we (a) document a theoretically derived reversal of the core pattern, (b) reconcile the current findings with seemingly opposed results in the construal literature, and (c) rule out several alternative explanations for the obtained effects. The insights obtained in this work enrich our understanding of three different areas of research: the price-quality link, construal level theory, and the self-other distinction.

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