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Title:Examining the Instrumentality of Attitudes: The Interactive Effect of Social Context, Medium and Product Type on Product Thoughts and Evaluations
Author(s):Schlosser, Ann Elizabeth
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Shavitt, Sharon
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Mass Communications
Abstract:Previous theorizing has suggested that social situations such as group discussion foster social-expressive concerns, thereby increasing the saliency of a product's social attributes. The present research suggests, however, that the impact of group discussion on product thoughts and evaluations may involve a more complex process, depending upon the product under discussion and the medium of discussion. To assess this, participants evaluated an image-based and quality-based product while anticipating engaging in further product evaluation either publicly (in a group) or privately (in an essay), either on-line or off-line. Counterintuitively, a group discussion context caused a decrease overall in the amount of thinking about, seeking, and actual discussion of social product attributes when compared to those working privately throughout the experiment. Planned comparisons indicated these effects to be significant for image-based rather than quality-based products. The results also suggest that on-line contexts heighten concerns with products' inherent performance characteristics. These results have implications for understanding how situational factors influence attitude functions as well as which product attributes are discussed during focus group research, word-of-mouth communication and consumer socialization.
Issue Date:1997
Description:108 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9812761
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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