March 7, 2024 - March 9, 2024
I will present, “Not-so Easy Listening: How Listening to Options Affects Product Choice and Evaluation” (co-authored by Vicki Morwitz) as part of a special session on “How Mediums Affect Consumer Behavior.” Many thanks to Demi Oba for organizing.
Not-so Easy Listening: How Listening to Options Affects Product Choice and Evaluation
Kurt Munz & Vicki Morwitz
Five experiments (N=3,325) reveal that listening to options (vs. reading them) is harder for consumers when they must rely on memory to evaluate options, as when making comparisons. This difficulty when listening can reduce consumers’ purchase likelihood, and it can shift their choices, as they focus on easily understandable product descriptions such as “like new” or “recommended” when listening versus reading. Listening presents challenges due to speech’s ephemeral nature, placing a higher burden on memory. However, an experiment using voice speakers in consumers’ homes demonstrates a speech format that reduces memory burden and improves purchase likelihood by facilitating effective comparisons.
The Effect of Listening versus Reading on News Interpretation
Shiri Melumad & Bob Meyer
Does listening to versus reading news alter its interpretation? This work theorizes that because listeners have less control over the flow of incoming information, they selectively attend to the more arousing aspects of a story, which are often its negative (vs. positive) details. This can lead listeners (vs. readers) to form more negatively slanted interpretations, which yield downstream implications. Results from six experiments (N = 8,599) show, for example, that when participants listen to (vs. read) news on the risks and benefits of a product’s ingredient, they view its safety more pessimistically, and are less willing to purchase such products.
Where You Say It Matters: How Firms Convey Public Stances on Social Media Impacts Their Perceived Commitment to Political Advocacy
Freeman Wu, Helen van der Sluis, Aradhna Krishna & Lauren Grewal
We find that the medium used by a firm to convey its stance on sociopolitical issues affects consumers’ perceptions of the firm’s commitment to the sociopolitical issue, thereby impacting their responses to both the firm and the cause. When a firm conveys its stance via a more temporary (vs. permanent) medium, consumers infer that this communication reflects a lower level of firm accountability and subsequent weaker commitment to the cause, negatively impacting downstream consequences for both the firm and the cause (e.g., firm evaluations, pledge signing). Notably, this effect is especially pronounced among consumers who find the issue less self-relevant.
How Communication Mediums Shape Messages
Demi Oba & Jonah Berger
When consumers communicate, they do so via a modality (e.g., voice or text), through a channel (e.g., live-chat or email) and often with the aid of a device (e.g., a smartphones or PCs). While we often think of these mediums as merely the context in which a given message is produced and shared, might they shape content in important ways? Through a review and extension of previous research, we develop a framework that argues that modality, device, and channel ultimately shape produced content by affecting propensity for deliberation and audience salience. Implications for consumers and marketing research are discussed.