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Title: How Much is Too Much? An Investigation of General Popularity, Reference Group Identities, and Their Influence on Purchasing Behavior
Authors: Crowe, Elizabeth
Advisors: Todorov, Alexander
Contributors: Graziano, Michael
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Technological advances allow market research firms to present consumers with lot of information about products and those who purchase them. This information affects consumer decision making, but to what extent are categories of information conflicting and ultimately hurting the success of these products? When American popular opinion is in conflict with the preferences of one’s gender or political party which identity do consumers find the most relevant? Using a within-subjects design, this study tests which identities, especially when they are in conflict, provide consumers with information they find more pertinent. A 2x2 experimental design pitted identities congruent and conflicting in preferences and asked participants to choose between products. Conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, general popularity proved to be the most persuasive, while adding reference group popularities either increased the baseline level of purchase or decreased it depending on the preference level. Gender preferences showed marginally stronger persuasive powers than political party, but both are proved to be valuable.
Extent: 42 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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