1 EFFECTS OF GOAL COMPATIBILITY: MATCHING CONSUMER MOTIVATIONS AND ADVERTISING APPEALS By DOORI SONG A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Doori S ong
3 To my family for their love
4 ACKNOWLEDG MENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank my dissertation committee chair, Dr. Cynthia Morton. My journey to earn a Ph.D. degree would have been difficult without her guidance and mentorship I also want to express my deepest appreciation to my co chair, Dr. John Sutherland, for his help throughout the Ph.D. degree process In addition, I want to thank Dr. Sora Kim, for her untiring guidance in reference to the research design and data analysis. My dissertation has benefited from the constructive comments I have received from Dr. James Shepperd. Without their efforts and pa tience, I would not have been able to complete my work. I am grateful to Dr. Hyojin Kim, who taught me how to conduct research. Her encouragement always helped me to move forward when I faced challenging moments during this Ph.D. process. My advisor for University, Dr. Mira Lee, opened the door to academia for me. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues and others at the University of Florida. Their help and encouragement have been invaluable. I cannot help but believe that I am a truly lucky person, as I have been able to share every moment of this journey with my three lovely girls, Namkyung, Jiwoo, and Yeonwoo. My wife, Namkyung, enabled me to begin work on and complete this degree and my tw o daughters were the reason of my embarking on this long journey. Finally, I would like to thank my family members, parents in law, and brother for their encouragement. I would especially like to express my gratitude to my father and mother for their uncon ditional love.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDG MENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 11 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 11 Interests of Research ................................ ................................ .............................. 1 4 Significance of Research ................................ ................................ ........................ 1 6 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 1 8 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 1 8 Regulatory Focus Theory ................................ ................................ ........................ 20 Regulatory Fit Thoery ................................ ................................ ............................. 2 5 The Effects of Regulatory Fit ................................ ................................ ............ 2 6 Underlying Mechanism of Regulatory Fit ................................ .......................... 2 8 Creation of Regulatory Fit ................................ ................................ ................. 2 9 Advertising Appeals: Distinctive and Popularity Appeals ................................ ........ 3 2 Distinctive Appeal ................................ ................................ ............................. 3 2 Popularity Appeal ................................ ................................ ............................. 3 4 Selective Exposure and Evaluation ................................ ................................ ........ 3 8 Cases of Selective Exposure as a Way of Reducing Dissonance .................... 40 Selective Evaluation and Motivated Cognitive Processing ............................... 4 8 Reglatory Focus and Selective Information Processing ................................ ... 5 3 Hypotheses Development ................................ ................................ ....................... 5 6 3 METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 6 4 Sampling and Recruiting ................................ ................................ ......................... 6 5 Experimental Procedure ................................ ................................ ......................... 6 6 Development of Stimuli ................................ ................................ ........................... 6 8 Case of Examination: Target Product Selection ................................ ............... 6 8 Stimulus for Regultory Focus Priming ................................ .............................. 6 9 Development of Advertising Appeals ................................ ................................ 71 Measurement Instrument ................................ ................................ ........................ 72
6 Pretest ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 7 5 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 7 9 Description of Subjects ................................ ................................ ........................... 7 9 Reliability Checks ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 80 Manipulation Checks ................................ ................................ ............................... 81 Hypotheses Testing ................................ ................................ ................................ 82 Additional Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 8 5 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 92 Summary and Discussion of Results ................................ ................................ ...... 92 Contribution ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 96 Limitations and Future Research ................................ ................................ ............ 9 9 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 102 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT FORM ................................ ................................ ............. 104 B REGULATORY FOCUS MANIPULATION ................................ ............................ 10 6 C EXPERIMENTAL STIMULI ................................ ................................ ................... 10 8 D Q UESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ ................................ 1 10 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 1 1 6 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 127
7 LIST OF TABLES Table Page 3 1 Overview of experimental design ................................ ................................ ........ 7 8 4 1 Number of subjects by the experimental conditions ................................ ............ 8 7 4 2 Descriptions of the sample ................................ ................................ .................. 8 7 4 3 One way ANOVA for gender on dependent variables ................................ ......... 8 8 4 4 Regression for age on dependent variables ................................ ........................ 88 4 5 Correlations of dependent variables ................................ ................................ .... 88 4 6 Multivariate tests of two way interaction ................................ .............................. 8 9 4 7 Means and standard deviations by conditions for dependent variables .............. 90 4 8 A s ummary of ANOVAs results ................................ ................................ ........... 90
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 2 1 Distinction between promotion and prevention focus ................................ ......... 62 2 2 Comparison of distinctive and popularity advertising appeals ............................ 6 3 4 1 Two way interaction between regulatory focus and advertising appeals on attitude toward advertising ................................ ................................ ............. 91 4 2 Two way interaction between regulatory focus and advertising appeals on attitude toward pr oduct ................................ ................................ ................... 91
9 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EFFECTS OF GOAL COMPATIBILITY: MATCHING CONSUMER MOT IVATIONS AND ADVERTISING APPEALS By Doori Song August 2013 Chair: Cynthia R. Morton Cochair: John C. Sutherland Major: Mass Communication focuses and the types of appeals on their evaluations of advertisements, products and purchase intentions. Specifically, the study expects that distinctive advertising appeal matches up wit mismatch with prevention focused consumers. Popularity advertising appeal pairs with prevention regulatory focus; there is a mismatch on the other hand with promotion focused consumers. Based on this expectati on, this study hypothesizes that the consumers in the fit conditions will be more likely to possess more favorable attitudes toward the advertising, product, and higher purchase intentions than those who are in nonfit conditions. A post test only experime ntal between subjects design was applied to examine the regulatory fit effect of regulatory focus and advertising appeals on focused people are more likely to have positive attitudes toward adverti sing and the products when they are exposed to distinctive advertising appeal than promotion focused people
10 are. Additionally, the findings indicate that promotion focused people possess more positive attitudes toward advertising than people with preventio n focus when a product utilizes popularity advertising appeals. The present study not only presents implications to marketing communicators, but it also contributes literature in the regulatory focus/fit and message framing by tapping into unanswered ques tions and addressing possible moderating variables for the regulatory nonfit effect.
11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Overview Imagine a consumer, Nicole, who is planning to travel to Europe with her close friends. She sees an advertisement for a travel package in a magazine and reads the information about the product specifications. Another consumer, Rachel, is also looking for a travel package to Europe. Unlike Nicole, Rachel is traveling with her family, thus, cares most about safety and avoiding any risks dur ing the trip. She reads the same advertisement for the travel package as Nicole Advertisers want to find the right target audience and develop advertising interests in achievin g their advertising objectives, two important questions arise from the Nicole and Rachel scenarios, which constitute the research agenda of interpretations of the travel package advertisement? If so, how will their different advertising processing affect their respective product preference? To answer nd types of advertising appeals. A critical ongoing issue in ad vertising is the determination of what benefits to communicate to target audiences and how to communicate them (Lee, Keller, & Sternthal, 2010). An appeal is the motive by which an advertisement is directed, and its purpose is to move the audience toward a goal set by the advertiser (Williams, 2012). Specifically, an advertising appeal is defined as any
12 product (Mueller, 1987). To motivate consumer action, therefore, the statement must consumers make their purchase decisions not just based on the information they receive from an advertisement (Bettman & Jacoby, 1976; Peterson & Merino, 2003), but also their specific wishe s and needs (Florack & Scarabis, 2006). decision purchase will play a role in their decision making. Moreover, r egarding the increasing clutter of advertising in the modern media environment, consumer preferences do not come readily from a message delivered by an advertiser, but are inherently constructive, and it becomes more difficult to influence consumers indepe ndently of their internal influencers, such as motivational states and prior attitudes toward the product (Feng & Papatla, 2011; Wang & Lee, 2006). Unfortunately, however, as consumers are more likely to search for and process information based on their g oals, needs and wants (i.e., motivational states), their purchase decision making and their information search and processing may be biased, which in turn, results in poor decisions (Connolly & Zeelenberg, 2002; Oliver, 1977). Therefore, balanced informati on processing is critical for consumers to make better decisions and avoid the negative consequences of poor decisions (Jonas, Schulz Hardt, Frey, & Thelen, 2001). In this vein, researchers have tried to include internal factors such as motivation in
13 the advertising appeal studies to fully understand how advertising works (e.g., Florack & Scarabis, 2006; Keller, 2006; Pollay, 1983). advertising appeal persuasiveness. Researchers in a dvertising have noted that advertising input (e.g., message content, media scheduling, repetition) and the motivation ( Petty & Cacioppo, 1986 ; Vakratsa & Ambler, 1999). Support ing the influence of motivational states on persuasion, sizeable literature in motivation science has supported the idea basic orientations and motivations related to their goals and motivations (e.g., Crowe & H iggins, 1997; Higgins, 2000; Kunda, 1990). For instance, Chernev (2004) found that if a consumer is motivated to maximize positive outcomes, messages emphasizing performance related attributes are more persuasive, whereas messages highlighting reliability related attributes are more effective to a consumer who is motivated to minimize negative outcomes. Based on the discussion of the role of motivational states and advertising appeals on persuasion, the objectives of this study are to investigate the role of advertising messages). From these objectives comes the following research question for investigation: Are there different effects between the types of advertising appeals
14 Specifically, this study examines the influence of goal compatibility their product preference formation. Returning to the consume rs, Nicole and Rachel, in the opening scenario, For instance, Nicole wants a travel package to enjoy her vacation with her friends. Persuasive messages highlighting fun and enjoyment might be compatible with her consumer goals, compared to adv ertising appeals that emphasize safety of the trip. In the other case, assume that Rachel is planning a vacation with her family. An advertising appeal emphasizing safety during the trip might be more compatible with appeals that stress fun and adventures during the trip. This study proposes that when consumers form product preferences, the influence of advertising appeals will differ depending on matching between Specifically, this study advertising appeals distinctive and popularity appeals as persuasive messages. The next section specifies the concepts of regulatory focus and fit an d their effects on the formation of product preference. Interests of Research advertising appeals has an impact on product preferences. Specifically, regulatory focus theory posits two different motivational orientations, promotion and prevention (Higgins, 1997 1998). According to regulatory focus theory, people with a promotion focus regulate their attitudes and behaviors toward
15 positive outcomes, and their concerns are related to the presence or absence of gains (Crowe & Higgins, 1997; Higgins, 1997). Additionally, the goals of a person with promotion focus are represented such as hopes, ideals, and aspirations, and they are sensitive to accomplishment and advancement (Higgins, 1997) In contrast, people with a prevention focus regulate their attitudes and behaviors away from negative outcomes, and their concerns are related to the presence or absence of losses (Higgins, 1997; Molden, Lee, & Higgins, 2008). A person with a prevention focus represents goals as duties and obligations and is concerned with safety and security (Higgins, 1997; Zh u & Meyers Levy, 2007 ) A basic prediction of regulatory focus is that people are more concerned with information that is relevant for the salient regulatory focus and that they weigh attributes compatible with the focus more carefully (Higgins, 2002). In the same vein, this study predicts that motivational states will influence Returning to the case of Nicole and Rachel for an example of regulatory focus, Nicole is categorized as promotion focused, due to her motivation to choose a travel package based on her priorities on the benefits s categorized as prevention focused, as her choice is motivated by the need to be safe and to avoid harm to her family during the trip. In keeping with this, advertisements that coincide with each r ability to appeal to their respective consumer appeals are expected to differ depending on their regulatory focus. This study
16 seeks to explain the influence of regulatory focus on advertising processi ng from theories of regulatory fit and selective evaluation. In sum, this study aims to investigate how advertising appeals can interact foci to product. Based on the principle of r egulatory focus and selective evaluation respectively, the research expects to find differences in of a product depending on the compatibility between regulatory focus and advertising appeals. Significance of Research Consistent with previous studies on regulatory focus/fit theory and biased orientations (i.e., regulatory focus) pair with different types of advertising appeals. Specifically, i nvestigating regulato ry focus will contribute to the literature on motivated cognitive reasoning. are not computer like mental processes, rather are filled with judgment heuristics and preference constructi on. This study explores more fully the ways in which consumer regulatory focus interacts with advertising appeals to influence relative reliance on online product reviews and product preference. Thus, one goal of the current study is to increase understa nding of how two distinct motivational orientations (i.e., promotion and prevention cognitive information processing. Additionally, the current research attempts to extend studies in regulatory focus by demonstrating the per suasive effect of compatibility between regulatory focus and advertising appeals. Specifically,
17 understanding the role of regulatory focus in consumer information evaluation may help marketing communicators by providing insight into the effective use of a dvertising appeals and message platforms. Chapter 2 provide s a thorough literature review of extant research in the area of regulatory focus/ fit theory distinctive/popularity advertising appeals, and selective information processing. At its conclusion the hypotheses are induced from the literature review. Chapter 3 detail s the experimental design of the current study including sampling, procedure stimulus, measurements, and pretests Chapter 4 presents the results of the study, including reliability check s, manipulation checks, and hypotheses testing. Lastly, chapter 5 provides a discussion of the findings, limitations, theoretical and practical implications as well as suggestions for future research.
18 C HA P T ER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Overview The objective of this study is to shed light on the effects of regulatory advertisements that use appeals which are either consistent or inconsistent with their regulatory focus. Specifically, the current study will examine how consumer regulatory focus interacts with advertising appeal and affects preference construction. That is, this study expects that matching, or fit, between regulatory attitude toward the advertising, perceptions of the product, and purchase intention. To make the case for the influence of regulatory focus and advertising appeals stronger, it is necessary to discuss how regulatory focus and advertising appeals could fit into the consumer decision making process. Traditionally, consumer researchers widely use the consumer information processing model to purchasing decisions (Delozier, 1976; Schiffman & Kanuk, 1997). The consumer information processing m odel views consumers as problem solvers (i.e., cognitive) and, to some degree, emotional (Schiffman & Kanuk, 1997). Specifically, the model explains that a consumer passes through five stages: problem recognition, information search, evaluation and selecti on of alternatives, decision implementation, and post purchase evaluation (Schiffman with his or her problem recognition. In the case of Nicole and Rachel, for
19 instance, they may recognize that they have worked so hard and need to feel refreshed in their everyday life. When they find a problem, Nicole and Rachel may search for more information related to travel from their memory (internal search) and/or become more attentive to adv ertisements (external search). That is, they take actions that precede an information search. Once they form an awareness set, consideration set, and/or choice set, they process competitive brand information and evaluate the value of the brands (i.e., eval uation and selection of alternatives stage). Then, Nicole and Rachel may need to select what specific travel package (what) and specific outlet (where). That is, they move on to the transaction. Lastly, they will evaluate the product based on their purchas e and usage experience. Researchers call this stage post purchase recognition, whereas advertising appeals are related to an external information search. Therefore, the domain of t his study is in the interrelationship between the problem recognition and information search stages. More specifically, Schiffman and Kanuk (1997) view the process of consumer decision making as three distinct but interlocking stages: the input, the proc ess, and the output stages. They noted that the input stage influences the and sociocultural e nvironment (e.g., family, information sources, social class, and culture). The process state refers to the influence of psychological factors (e.g.,
20 recognition of a need, such as an inf ormation search and alternative evaluations. Again, this study fits into the input and the process stages because it is concerned with the influence of motivational states (the process stage) and advertising appeals (the input stage) on the outcomes (e.g., product trial and purchase). Literature in the areas of selective information processing will be discussed as a foundation for developing relevant hypotheses based on the theories associated with consumer decision making. Selective information processing is presented because this study understands regulatory fit effect as a type of selective information processing which includ es selective information processing, regulatory focus, regulatory fit, and advertising appeals. Then, the interaction between regula tory focus and advertising appeals on consumer information evaluation will be discussed based on regulatory focus/ fit effect. Lastly, hypotheses will be proposed based on the literature reviews. Regulatory Focus Theory Consumer researchers have focused pr imarily on a cognitive analysis of consumer decision making (Bettman, Johnson, & Payne, 1991). However, recent work in consumer research has demonstrated that consumer decision making is also influenced by a variety of motivational factors as well as purel y cognitive processes (e. g., motivated reasoning) ( Kunda, 1990; Pham & Higgins, 2005). In this study, regulatory focus motivation will be examined as a variable that influences consumer information processing. How consumers process information and make dec isions is driven by their consumption goals (Pham & Higgins, 2005). A considerable amount of research
21 (i.e., nourishment, growth, and development) and security (i.e., shelter, saf ety, and protection) (Friedman & Frster, 2001; Higgins, 1997; Maslow, 1955; Molden et al., 2008). Related to these two different fundamental needs, the hedonic principle proposes that people are motivated to approach pleasure and avoid pain, and this prin academia (Higgins, 1997; Olshavsky & Granvbois, 1979). Regulatory focus theory started with criticism about the dominance of the hedonic principle in psychology (Molden et al., 2008). Higgins (1 997) pointed out (p.1280), and suggested regulatory focus theory to increase the understanding of th e hedonic principle by studying approach and avoid principles. Specifically, regulatory focus theory proposes that differences in decision making can occur as a function of regulatory focus, regardless of the hedonic principle. Higgins (1997) noted that th e hedonic principle provides a description of events rather than an understanding of underlying process. Regarding the descriptive nature of the hedonic principle, regulatory focus helps to identify the distinct principle that underlies the hedonic princip le. That is, while the hedonic principle is regarded as unitary, regulatory theory proposes that the ways of seeking pleasure and focus (Higgins, 1997; Pham & Higgins, 2005).
22 Specifically, regulatory focus theory proposes two different modes of goal pursuit: promotion and prevention focus (Brockne r Paruchuri, Idson, & Higgins, 2002; Higgins, 1997; Idson, Liberman, & Higgins 2004; Liberman Molden, Idson, & Higgins 2001; Mold en et al., 2008). People with promotion regulatory focus are concerned with advancement, growth, and accomplishment whereas people with prevention regulatory focus care about protection, safety, and responsibility. Therefore, promotion focused people exper ience pleasure from the presence of positive outcomes (i.e., gain or nongain), but prevention focused people experience pleasure from the absence of negative outcomes (i.e., loss or nonloss) (Gollwitzer, 1990; Higgins et al., 2001). In the rest of this ch apter, regulatory focus and fit theory will be discussed product information. Specifically, the characteristics of two motivational orientations (promotion and prevention focus) an d fit between motivational orientation and the manner of goal pursuit (i.e. regulatory fit) will be explored in detail. The next section will review research on regulatory focus that examines the two different motivational modes (i.e., promotion and preven tion focus) Regulatory focus: p romotion versus p revention f ocus Regulatory focus is a specific strategic and motivational orientation that a person adopts during goal pursuit. Higgins (1997, 1998) noted that self regulation involves two different motivational modes: the pr omotion focus, which regulates nurturance needs and goals related to aspiration and accomplishment (e.g., a person can attend a football club to become a better player), and the prevention focus, which
23 regulates security needs and goals related to safety a nd responsibilities (e.g., a person can quit smoking to become a better football player). In this section, two separate motivational orientations will be compared and contrasted to investigate different information processing in terms of regulatory focus. According to regulatory focus theory, people with a promotion focus regulate their attitudes and behaviors toward positive outcomes, and their concerns are related to the presence and absence of gains (Crowe & Higgins, 1997; Frster, Higgins, & Idson, 199 8; Higgins, 1997; Molden et al. 2008). Additionally, the goals of a person with promotion focus are represented as hopes, ideals, and aspirations, and s/he is sensitive to accomplishment and advancement (Higgins, 1997). Researchers in motivational science have noted that when pursuing a goal, people with different regulatory foci adopt different strategies. Promotion focused people prefer strategies that maximize gains and minimize non gains. More specifically, promotion focused people choose strategies th at focus on means of advancement (Lee & Higgins, 2009). Thus, they tend to accept ambiguous, risky, and novel options, and use as many opportunities as possible (Crowe & Higgins, 1997). People also have different emotional experiences depending on their re gulatory focus. Specifically, people with promotion focus are more sensitive to affective evaluations of elation or dejection. Studies found that promotion focused people were fast at evaluating experiences in terms of elation or dejection (Shah & Higgins, 2001). In contrast, people with a prevention focus regulate their attitudes and behaviors away from negative outcomes, and their concerns are related to the
24 presence and absence of losses (Crowe & Higgins, 1997; Frster et al. 1998 ; Higgins, 1997; Molden et al., 2008). Additionally, a person with a prevention focus represents goals as duties and obligations, and is concerned with safety and security (Higgins, 1997) Additionally, prevention focused people tend to prefer unambiguous and secure options beca use they strive to minimize losses and maximize non losses (i.e., vigilant strategy) (Cesario, Grant, & Higgins, 2004; Lee & Aaker, 2004; Hong & Lee, 2008). For the affective experience, people with prevention focus are faster to evaluate experiences in te rms of relaxat ion or agitation (Higgins 1997; Shah & Higgins, 2001). People with a promotion focus regulate their attitudes and behaviors toward positive outcomes and people with a prevention focus regulate their attitudes and behaviors away from negative outcomes. Higgins (1997) noted that outcomes (i.e., gains) and the painful absence of positive outcomes (i.e., non gains). In contrast, the prevention system is concerned with obtaining security and is the basis for higher level concerns with safety and fulfillment of absence of negative outcomes (e.g., non losses) and the painful presence of nega tive outcomes (e.g., losses). The distinction between promotion and prevention focus has been supported by researchers from various areas such as psychology (e.g., Pennington & Roese, 2003; Liberman et al., 2001), organizational behavior (e.g., Brockner e t al., 2002; Pham & Avnet, 2009; Shah et al., 2004), consumer
25 behavior (e.g., Lee, Aaker, & Gardner, 2000; Sengupta & Zhou, 2007) and advertising appeals (e.g., Aaker & Lee, 2001; Lee & Aaker, 2004). For instance, Aaker and Lee (2001) manipulated informati on to be either promotion focused (i.e., approach goal) or prevention focused (i.e., avoidance goal). They found that independent people with autonomy are more likely persuaded by promotion focused information whereas prevention focused information is more effective for interdependent people for whom the self relates to belonging and fitting in with their social groups. Consistent with the distinction between promotion and pre vention focus, Wan, Hong and Stemthal (2009) demonstrated that the way in which pr products. Specifically, they found that when product information is presented sequentially (i.e., progress strategy), promotion focused participants showed more favorable attitudes tow ard the product compared to when the information was presented simultaneously (i.e., accuracy strategy). Figure 2 1 provides the distinctions between promotion and prevention focus. Regulatory Fit Theory Regulatory focus is based on the concerns or interes ts that regulate a different regulatory foci assign a different importance to the same outcome of a choice alternative consistent with their regulatory focus (Avnet & Higgins, 2006; Crowe & Higgins, 1997; Pham & Chang, 2010). A central idea of regulatory fit is differs depending o n whether or not these preferred means are used (Aaker &
26 Lee, 2006; Cesario Higgins, & Scholer 2008). In this vein, researchers have noted that when people adopt strategies and engage in activities that are consistent with their regulatory focus, they ex perience a fit (Aaker & Lee, 2006; Lee et al., 2000; Pham & Chang, 2010). Specifically, regulatory fit theory proposes that people experience regulatory fit when their strategies for goal pursuit match their regulatory orientation (Avnet & Higgins, 2006; L ee et al., 2010; Pham & Chang, 2010). That is, given their concern for growth and accomplishments, promotion focused people experience fit when they adopt eagerness strategies that strive toward gains, and experience nonfit when they adopt vigilance strate gies. On the other hand, prevention focused people experience fit when they adopt vigilance strategies and experience nonfit when they adopt eagerness strategies. For instance, if a football player who has higher promotion focus wants to be a better player he will attend a football club to work out (i.e., eagerness strategy), whereas if the footballer has higher prevention focus, he will try to stop smoking instead of attending the football club (i.e., vigilance strategy). The Effects of Regulatory Fit Reg arding the effects of regulatory fit, extant findings in regulatory fit theory have demonstrated that when people experience regulatory fit, their attitudes (either positive or negative) toward a product become stronger and their confidence in their decisi ons and judgments strengthens (Aaker & Lee, 2006). Researchers also learned that people are more persuaded when the message frame fits their regulatory focus (Cesario et al., 2004), thereby increasing
27 2006), and that people are willing to pay more for a product when the product is consistent with their regulatory focus ( Higgins Freitas, Idson, Spiegel, & Molden 2003 ). Hong and Lee (2008) tested regulatory fit in the self regulatio n domain and found that people in nonfit conditions are less engaged and become less motivated to self regulate, while regulatory fit enhances self regulatory performance. Avnet and Higgins (2006) found that when consumers experience fit, they perceive a h igher monetary value for the choices they have made. Supporting previous research, a recent study also found that fit positively enhanced engagement and information processing flue ncy (Lee et al., 2010) Aaker and Lee (2001) found that people who relate themselves to the autonomy and independence of the individual (i.e., independent self view) are more persuaded by promotional messages (e.g., gain framed messages) because the message is consistent with their approach goal. In contrast, people who emphasize belonging and fitting in with their social groups (i.e., in terdependent self view) are more likely to be persuaded by prevention messages (e.g., loss framed messages) because the messages are compatible with their avoidance goal. Although regulatory fit has been tested in many domains, from consumer behavior to se lf regulation, only a few studies have examined the effects of regulatory fit on selective information processing. One of the studies of regulatory fit effect in selectivity is by Yoon, Sarial Abi, and Grhan Canli (2012). They
28 investigated the moderating role of information load in the effect of regulatory focus on the selective information process. They found that with a high information load, relative reliance on positive information is greater for promotion focused people, and with a low information loa d, relative reliance on positive information is greater for prevention focused people. Similarly, Wang and Lee (2006) found that people show selective information processing in a low involvement situation, and they pay more attention to the product informa tion that is relevant to their regulatory focus. In a similar vein, the research proposed for the investigation will examine the regulatory fit effect as a moderator on Underlying Mechanism of Regulatory Fit Given that the domain of this study is advertising and persuasive messages, one of its objectives is to examine a role of regulatory fit on to create conditions optimal for regulatory fit rather than the underlying mechanism of regulatory fit. However, to understand how regulatory fit is created, it is essential to understand the underlying mechanism of regulatory fit. Studies in regulatory fit theory have sought to understand the mec hanisms underlying its effects via the feeling right experience and strength of engagement (Aaker & Lee, 2006; Avnet & Higgins, 2006). That is, when people experience fit, they feel right about what they are doing and engage more strongly in what they are doing (Cesario et al., 2004; Lee & Higgins, 2009). In investigations of the component and strength of engagement component ( Avnet & Higgins, 2006).
29 According to regulatory fit theory, if the manner in which a consumer makes a engagement for his/her choice (Avnet & Higgins, 2006; Cesario et al., 2004). Furthermore, increased level of engagement resul choice (Higgins, 2006; Lee et al., 2010). Therefore, under the fit condition, people pursuit activity, which in turn influences their subjective con fidence in their decisions (Aaker & Lee, 2006; Lee et al., 2000; Pham & Chang, 2010). The next section will briefly discuss how fit with regulatory focus orientation can be created. Creation of Regulatory Fit Given that the effects of regulatory fit are du and strength of engagement, regulatory fit can be created or manipulated by developing the two regulatory fit components. Cesario and his colleagues (2008) noted that regulatory fit can be created in several ways, such as fram ing proposed two different approaches to operationalize the feeling right experience and strength of engagement: a process based approach and an outcome based approach. Their method o f creating regulatory fit encompasses the regulatory fit manipulations in current regulatory fit research, thus the distinctions can be useful for understanding the creation of regulatory fit. First, regulatory fit can be created by inducing people to eng age in decision making processes that are either consistent or inconsistent with their reg ulatory focus (Aaker & Lee, 2006 ; Hong & Lee, 2008). For example, Pham
30 and Chang (2010) examined fit between regulatory focus and information search strategies. Speci fically, they found that promotion focused people tend to search for information at a more global level (e.g., larger information set and hierarchically structured decision environment) whereas prevention focused people tend to search for information at a more local level (e.g., smaller information set and non hierarchically structured lists) Avnet and Higgins (2003) also examine d the relationship between extend ed regulator y focus (promotion and prevention focus) to regulatory mode (locomotion and assessment mode) and examine d how decision making strategies could fit with those two regulatory modes. They refer red to locomotion alued or desired end (Avnet & Higgins, 2003, That is, the locomotion mode is associated with promotion focus, an d the assessment mode is associated with the prevention focus. Avnet and Higgins (2003) used two different decision making strategies to examine fit effects: progressive elimination and full evaluation strategy. People who use the progressive elimination strategy look at the first attribute and eliminate the brand that has the worst value for that attribute. Thus, the progressive elimination strategy involves changing the state of alternative possibilities to the final choice. On the other hand, people who use the full evaluation strategy compare among all of the alternatives for all of the attributes,
31 and then choose the brand that seems to have the best attributes overall. Avnet and Higgins (2003) found that people with locomotion orientation have a highe r fit with the progressive elimination strategy, and people with assessment orientation have a higher fit with the full evaluation strategy. Regulatory fit also can be created by emphasizing the outcomes to which people with regulatory foci are sensitive ( Aaker & Lee, 2006; Cesario et al., 2004; Lee & Aaker, 2004). That is, researchers have tried to create a fit for promotion focused people by presenting presence and absence of positive outcomes and a fit for prevention focused people by presenting presence and absence of negative outcomes. For instance, a study asked their participants to read a nonlosses (Lee et al., 2010) They found more positive brand attitude when promotion focused participants were exposed to a gain nogain message frame or when prevention focused participant s were exposed to a loss noloss message frame. Researchers have also used advertising messages to create fit (Aaker & Lee, 2006). For instance, Aaker and Lee (2001) found that an advertisement for a juice that emphasized vitamin C, energy, and great taste was more effective than an advertisement that emphasized antioxidants and cardiovascular disease prevention for consumers with promotion focus; but the reverse was true when the advertisement targeted consumers with prevention focus. Wang and Lee
32 (2006) a lso created a fit with advertising appeals. In their experiment, they hopes and aspirations (promotion focus) or their duties and responsibilities (prevention focus). The part icipants were then exposed to advertisement for toothpaste. One advertisement described the promotion features of the toothpaste (e.g., breath freshening and teeth whitening) while the other advertisement showed prevention features (e.g., cavity prevention and plaque control). They found that when advertising appeals matched regulatory focus (i.e., promotion focus and appeals emphasizing promotion features), the persuasiveness of the appeal was greater compared to unmatched conditions. This study examines how consumers evaluate product reviews depending on their regulatory focus, advertising appeals, and the interaction of the two; the interest is in creating regulatory fit using advertising appeals (i.e., an outcome based approach). Specifically, uniquenes s appeals and popularity appeals will be adopted to create regulatory fit, and a discussion of how those appeals fit with consumer regulatory focus will follow in the next section. Advertising Appeals: Distinctive and Popularity Appeals Extant research has found that motivations can be associated with a variety of decision making strategies and messages; thus, regulatory focus influence on their responses to marketing messages (Aaker & Lee, 2006; Avnet & Higgins, 2006; Lee et al., 2000; Wang & Le e, 2006). In this study, two types of advertising appeals (distinctive appeals and popularity appeals) will be adopted and expected to create regulatory fit w
33 Distinctive Appeal Distinctive appeal is considered to be a type o f uniqueness appeal (Albers Miller & Gelb 1996; Pollay, 1983). Therefore, this section starts with a discussion of uniqueness appeal, and then will narrow down to details of distinctive appeals. Uniqueness appeal refers to messages emphasizing the unrivale d, incomparable, and unparalleled nature of a product (Ji & McNeal, 2001). In a similar vein, Pollay (1983) considers uniqueness to be one of the values that advertising can deliver to consumers. Pollay categorized the value of uniqueness into two aspects: dearness (expensiveness) and distinctiveness (rari ty). Specifically, Pollay (1983 valuable, highly regarded, costly, extravagant, exorbitant, luxurious, and priceless was described unique, unusual, scarce, infrequent, exclusive, tasteful, elegant, subtle, esoteric, hand ( p. 80 ). That is, dearness appeals do not contain any risk related cues, whereas choosing a product with distinctive appeal can be a risky choice, as the p roduct has not been adopted by the majority of consumers (Albers Miller & Gelb, 1996). This study is interested in advertising appeals that emphasiz e distinctiveness. Therefore for the purpose of the investigation, distinctive advertising appeals were def ined as persuasive messages that are designed to produce positive consumer responses by making the target audience to perceive the product/brand has potential benefits to make them different from others in a positive way. Romaniuk Sharp, and Ehrenberg (20 07) proposed an interesting differentiation between brand distinctiveness and brand differentiation. According
34 to their differentiation differentiation implies positive improvement of the product As a result, product buyers become more loyal and the bran d can avoid direct Brand distinctiveness focuses more on recognition and identification (e.g., Coca Cola this conceptual differentiation has not receiv ed empirical support. Additionally, their definition of brand distinctiveness is somewhat limited to perceptional differentiation by the consumers (i.e., how easily consumers can recognize the brand) and disregards the benefits that the brand actually deli vers (e.g., what values the consumer can get by consuming this brand). The current study defines distinctive appeals to include potential benefits that the product can have as well as the perceptional distinction of the product. Therefore, this study does not make any strict distinction between brand distinctiveness and differentiation. Popularity Appeal Marketing researchers refer to the popularity effect as the influence of preference (Castleberry & Resurreccion, 1989; Tucker & Zhang, 2011). Chiu (2008) noted that popularity claims are persuasive because the popularity cues (e.g., brand name, country of origin, and advertising appeal) provided by marketers indicate that people have positive opinions of the product, and the majority correctly reflects reality, so the consumers accept thi s as evidence of the product because the quality of the product has been proved by masses of people who already have used the product (i.e., low risk choice). Researchers have
35 ex plained the popularity effect on persuasion with (1) the relationship between market share (i.e., popularity) and product quality (Huang Schrank, & Dubinsky, 2006; Miyazaki, Grewal, & Goodstein, 2005) and (2) the role of popularity cues as a risk reducer (Chiu, 2008; Dean, 1999). fer that the product the majority prefers must be a good product (Miyazaki et al., 2005; Tucker & Zhang, 2011). That is, consumers use market share as a signal superior quality (Huang et al., 2006). Supporting this assertion, Tucker and Zhang (2011) found that if the level of popularity is the same, popularity information is more effective to niche market products than to mainstream products. that a consumer is in a car market, and considering two small sedans, a Suzuki consumer will have a more positive product preference for the Suzuki if the two models are using the same level of popularity information because Suzuki is the product serving a smaller niche of the market compared to Ford and consequently has a lower likelihood of being chosen when all products offer the same quality. However, t he Ford Focus is a product that suits mainstream tastes and therefore stands a high chance of being chosen among products of the same
36 quality. Therefore, consumers perceive that the Suzuki Kizashi has a better quality than the Ford Focus. Second, brand/pro duct popularity can be a risk reducer, especially when consumers have a higher level of uncertainty regarding the quality of a product (Huang et al., 2006). Dean (1999) noted that consumers reduce their level of uncertainty in their purchase decision by ch oosing the most popular selling product. Additionally, researchers have addressed that the effect of popularity 1999; Miyazaki et al., 2005). That is, when consumers hold much know ledge about the product category, they are less likely to employ brand popularity as an indicator of brand quality (Dean, 1999). In a similar vein, Miyazaki and his colleagues (2005) demonstrated that when product information was available, consumers were less likely to rely on brand popularity for their judgment of product quality. It should be noted that brand popularity is distinguished from brand familiarity in this research. A popular brand may be familiar to most consumers. However, a familiar brand does not mean that brand is popular to the majority of consumers (Dean, 1999). That is, a popular brand in this study implies that a nave consumer can evaluate the popular brand as superior to others based on postulated popularity cues in the advertisemen t. It is a common practice for advertisers to incorporate popularity cues into (Dean, 1999). Specifically, popularity appeals focus on the universal recognition
37 and acceptance of a certain product by consumers (Ji & McNeal, 2001; Pollay, 1983). Pollay (1983) considered popularity as an important value frequently observed in advertisements. He referred to popularity in advertising as known, conventional regular, usual, ordinary, normal, standard, typical, universal, gen p 80). best selling car in Canada 1 3 years presented by Pollay, his popularity appeals are intended to reinforce the status quo and strengthen the dominance of products. That is, this perception is based on the bel ief that the products have high market share, and consequently benefit from the bandwagon of choices, making people buy a product because the masses are buying it (Tucker & Zhang, 2011). ity appeals as persuasive messages that are designed to produce positive consumer responses by making the target audience perceive that the product/brand has good quality, using information demonstrating the extent to which a brand/product is widely sought by the population at large. Therefore, popularity appeals imply that it is safe and secure to purchase a product, as a majority of people has already adopted it. Figure 2 2 presents the comparison between distinctive and popularity advertising appeals. Re calling that the purpose of this study is to examine the regulatory fit effect between regulatory focus and advertising appeal, the current study
38 understands regulatory fit effect as a type of selective information processing, because the study expects tha selective depending on fit or non fit situations. The next section discusses the background of selective information processing to provide a deep er understanding of the fit effects. Selective Exposure and Evaluat ion Judgment and decision making (JDM) literature has demonstrated that biased information processing occurs with decision making ; such bias can include changes in opinions, attitudes, and beliefs (e.g., Edwards & Smith, 1996; Gilovich & Griffin, 2010). Th at is, decision makers do not objectively consider every possible alternative I nstead, bias is introduced when they seek and evaluate information to serve their beliefs, attitudes, or prior decisions (Ditto & Lopez, 1992). JDM researchers use the term con firmation bias to refer to the tendency that people reliably and readily look for evidence that will support their beliefs, rather than for evidence that would contradict it (Gilovich & Griffin, 2010; Jonas et al., 2001). In other words, people show biases when they gather or remember information, and also when they selectively interpret the information. This type of case implies that even though a consumer is objectively exposed to information, the consumer may use different criteria for the information wh en s/he evaluates it which may result in a poor purchase decision. Therefore, it is important to understand the underlying mechanism of both selective exposure and evaluation. Relatively little attention has been paid to selective evaluation as compared t o the selective exposure tendency.
39 Interestingly, studies investigating confirmation bias do not clearly differentiate selective evaluation from selective exposure, and sometimes use the Fischer, Greitemeyer, & Frey, 2008; Jonas et al., 2002; Yoon et al., 2012). As one of the purposes of this study is to examine the role of motivations and advertising appeals on consumer information evaluation when consumers are exposed to both consistent and inconsistent infor mation, the distinction between the two phenomena of confirmation bias should be made. For this distinction, researchers understand selective evaluation as a tendency to evaluate preference consistent information more positively than preference inconsisten t information ( Ditto & Lopez, 1992; Ditto, Munro, Scepansky & Apanovitch 1998). That is, selective evaluation is the tendency for biased information processing during the process of analysis and interpretation, whereas selective exposure implies considera tions solely at the exposure stage (e.g., people selectively seek, choose, and screen the information). In this study, the terms confirmation bias, selective information processing, and selective hypothesis testing will be used to refer to a concept encom passing be used to indicate the information search stage (before information evaluation) of consumer decision making use d to indicate the information evaluation stage (after information exposure) of decision making process
40 The next section reviews the historical background of the selective exposure effect, and how the selective exposure phenomenon has been applied to cons umer research. Although the focus of this study is on selective evaluation, a discussion of selective exposure is necessary to understand selective evaluation because the two types of biased information processing share similar underlying motivations (Daws on, Gilovich, & Regan, 2003; Klayman & Ha, 1987). Additionally, the stages of selective information processing are part of a continuum process from information exposure to evaluation, rather than disconnected and independent steps (Bettman, 1979). Cases of Selective Exposure as A Way of Reducing Dissonance One explanation for selective exposure comes from the theory of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance theory states that dissonance is created when a person is aware that two or more cognitions, such as attitudes, beliefs, or decisions, are cont radictory (Festinger, 1957, 1964 ). As the dissonance is a psychological tension and an aversive arousal, people try to reduce it in various ways, and selective exposure is one of the mechanisms (Cotton, 19 85; F estinger, 1957; Smith, Fabrigar, Powell, & Estrada 2007). Selective exposure is a way of reducing dissonance. Studies have observed the tendency of selective exposure by creating dissonance in various contexts such as in gambling (Cohen, Brehm, & Latane, 1959), education (Mills, Aronson, & Robinson, 1959), smoking behavior (Feather, 1962) and advertising (Enrlich, Guttman, Schnbach & Mills 1957). Specifically, a study examined how the importance levels of situations (high vs. low) interact with the valence of information (positive vs. negative) (Mills et al., 1959) They predicted that a high
41 involvement situation would cause higher dissonance when participants encountered information that was inconsistent with their previous choice as compared to a low involvement situation. The study followed a traditional selective exposure research procedure to examine the interaction effect of the importance levels and valence of information on the degree of selective exposure tendency (M ills et al., 1959) First, the participants were asked to decide which types of course examinations they would like to take. After the participants made their choices of either essay or objective examinations, the importance levels of the situations were m anipulated. Specifically, the participants in the high importance condition were told that the examination would count for 70% of their total grade whereas the participants in the low importance condition were notified that the exam would count for only 5% of their total grade for the course. Lastly, the participants were given information that was either positive or negative. They were given a list of six fictitious articles and asked to rank them in terms of their reading preference. For both valence cond itions (i.e., positive and negative), three of the articles were about essays and the other three were about objective examinations. Two types of the list were randomly distributed to the participants. The study found that when people were exposed to posit ive information about both types of examinations, people who chose to take the essay examination wished to read positive articles about the essay examination whereas the reverse was true for the people who chose the objective examination.
42 Similarly, a stud y examined the role of publicity on selective exposure effects (Cohen et al., 1959) In the public condition, the participants were told that their choice of position in a game would be reported in the school paper (i.e., higher dissonance condition). In c ontrast, participants in the private condition were told that only the participant and the experiment would know their choice (i.e., lower dissonance condition). They expected that psychological tension public and that participants would show a selective exposure tendency to reduce dissonance. As expected, Cohen and his colleagues (1959) found that people showed a selective exposure tendency when the participants were told that their gambling choices wou ld be reported in the school paper (public condition) whereas no selective exposure effects were found when the participants were notified that their choices would be known only to the participants and the experimenter. From the first description of cognit ive dissonance in 1957 to the mid 1960s, however, nine out of 17 studies found no evidence of selective exposure effect (Cotton, 1985). That is, the selective exposure effect yielded equivocal findings and was not very robust. The inconsistent results in s elective exposure led Freedman and Sears (1965) to conclude that the evidence did not support selective exposure. Specifically, Freedman and Sears (1965 some circumstances, people seem to prefer information that supports their opinion; u nder other circumstances, people seem to prefer information which (p. 90). That is they argued that there was no evidence to support the existence of a selective effect because the evidence was
43 not systematic. This review by F reedman and Sears (1965) was very influential in social psychology, and the topic moved from the major side of dissonance theory to a minor light. Thus, more than ten years after the negative review by Freedman and Sears (1965), researchers regarded select ive exposure as an effect that did not really exist (Cotton, 1985; Frey, 1986a, 1986 b). Although Freedman and Sears (1965) argued that selective exposure should be abandoned, researchers noticed that many earlier studies suffered from a variety of methodo logical flaws (e.g., Cotton 1985; Fischer, Jonas, Frey, & Schulz Hardt, 2005; Smith et al., 2007). Subsequent experimental research indicates that selective ex posure does exist (Brannon, Tagler, & Eagly 2007). Researchers have determined that the initial experiments failed to consider the level of dissonance and its effect on selective exposure (Cotton, 1985). Today, cognitive dissonance theory posits that the tendency for selective exposure varies depending on the magnitude of dissonance (Festinger, 1957) Specifically, researchers noted that (1) when little or no dissonance occurs, no selective exposure will be observed, (2) moderate amounts of dissonance will lead to the greatest level of a tendency for selective exposure to reduce dissonance, and (3) ex tremely high levels of dissonance will not increase selective exposure, but the person will change his/her cognitions because selective exposure is not sufficient to reduce the inconsistency (Festinger, 1957, Cohen et al., 1959; Cotton, 1985; Rhine, 1967). between selective exposure and dissonance, with the maximum selective effects
44 at a moderate level. A majority of earlier studies in selective exposure failed to manipulate the leve l of dissonance and included only two levels of dissonance (low and high) (Frey, 1986b). Additionally, perceived usefulness may influence selective exposure tendency (Frey, 1986b). When people perceive that the information is highly useful, they will seek information that contradicts their cognitions. underlying negative conclusions in terms of selective exposure (Jonas et al., 2001). As an example, people may perceive that seeking informat ion that only favors their beliefs, attitudes, and decisions is dishonest. In a situation emphasizing norms of honesty, or if honesty is a variable that influences the selective exposure study, selective exposure will be reduced. As researchers have learn ed to control their studies more effectively, research has tended to produce more favorable results regarding selective exposure (Brannon et al., 2007; Cotton, 1985). Additionally, studies have focused increasingly on finding variables that moderate people supportive information over opposing information (e.g., Brannon et al., 2007; Fischer et al., 2005; Frey, 1986a). Peter Fischer may be one of the most active scholars in selective exposure in recent years. He and his colleagues have exam ined numerous conditions where the selective exposure tendency is stronger or reduced (sources listed for Fischer et al., 2005). For instance, Fischer and his colleagues found that selective exposure is greater when people are exposed to a larger number of information sources (Fischer et al., 2005), when
45 information is presented by physically attractive in formation sources (Fischer, J. Fischer, Aydin, & Frey 2010), when participants are induced via a gain frame ( vs. loss frame) (Fischer, Jonas, Frey, & Kas tenmller 2008), when people have higher confidence in their preliminary decision (Fischer et al., 2010), and when people have depleted self regulation resources (Fischer et al., 2008). Additionally, a study demonstrated a selective exposure tendency by comparing two approaches that people take in information seeking: sequential and simultaneous information seeking (Jonas et al., 2001) A typical experimental information search procedure in selective exposure research uses simultaneous information seeking (e.g., Frey, 1981; Ehrlich et al., 1957; Smith et al., 2007). In typical experiments on selective exposure tendency, participants are first confronted with a decision making case (e.g., whether a store owner should extend a contract with the store manage r or seek another person to increase sales) and then asked to make a decision. After that, participants are offered a sheet that contains additional information that they can select to read. Half of the information is consonant, the other half is dissonant with their prior decisions. Researchers show the titles of the information to the participants and ask them to mark the information they wish to read. Participants can tell from the titles whether the information is supportive or not of their prior decisi ons. Under this experimental setting, the information is presented simultaneously. In a real setting, of course, it is rare to have people compare available information using a single sheet. Instead, each time new information comes to
46 information is processed and the person has to decide whether to heed or ignore the piece of information. It has been found that when people are exposed to information sequentially, they show a higher selective exposure tendency compared to simultaneous i nformation seeking (Jonas et al., 2001). Recognizing that sequential information seeking is more typical in a real world setting than the simultaneous information seeking typical of traditional selective exposure research further supports the existence of a selective exposure tendency (Cotton, 1985; Frey, 1986a; Smith et al., 2007). The selective exposure phenomenon has attracted the interest of consumer researchers who have adopted dissonance theory to explain consumer post purchase reduction of dissonanc e (Cohen & Goldberg, 1970; Ehrlich et al., 1957; Oliver, 1977), the effects of brand loyalty on selective exposure (Cummings & Venkatesan, 1976), advertising effectiveness (Norris, Colman, & Aleixo, 2003), and effects of information load (Yoon et al., 2012 ). For instance, Ehrlich and his colleagues (1957) found that new car owners read advertisements for their own cars more often than those for cars they considered, but did not buy. In other words, their findings supported the idea that people seek out cons onant or supporting information after a decision to reduce dissonance seeking information regarding ethical attributes found that consumers do not seek ethical attributes at the same rate at which they would use the information even though the information is important to them and is easily obtainable. They found that participants were reluctant to ask for ethical attributes of the products
47 they had chosen, and that this avoid ance helped them to reduce negative emotions resulting from inconsistencies between their prior choices and their by the theory of cognitive dissonance because the magnitude of dissonance increases with the importance of the cognitions involved (Cotton, 1985). Thus, participants with greater concerns showed a greater difference between request and use than participants with less concerns (Ehrich & Irwin, 2005). In a similar v ein, a study also proposed that the positive relationship between television programs and advertising effectiveness is because of the selective exposure effect (Norris et al., 2003) That is, the more involved in a television program consumers become, the more likely they are to retrieve the advertisement they watched (increased memory ability). Even though investigating moderators have demonstrated numerous situational and individuals factors influencing selective exposure and how it may attract and benefi t marketing communicators, the purpose of this study is not to just add another moderator to the body of knowledge about selective exposure. This study instead attempts to demonstrate that biased information processing occurs not only in the information ex posure stage, but also in the evaluation stage. When people are exposed to information involuntarily or willing to expose themselves to information such as advertisements, better decisions will be assumed. This study is interested in those cases in which a person seeks additional product information after they have already formed a specific attitude toward a product.
48 for information exposure, and its historical background, citing se veral empirical studies. The next section will review the existing research on selective evaluation and explain how selective evaluation is similar and also distinct from selective exposure. Selective Evaluation and Motivated Cognitive Processing As discus sed in the previous section, one explanation for selective exposure comes from the theory of cognitive dissonance theory (Cotton, 1985; Festinger, 1959; Hart et al., 2009). From the perspective of cognitive dissonance theory, selective exposure is mainly d feel good by reducing dissonance and justifying cognition. Similarly, motivated reasoning literature asserts that there is motivation to protect self relevant attitudes ( defense motivation), and this results in a deeper and more favorable elaboration of supportive information than information that is in opposition (Lundgren & Prislin, 1998). As such, researchers have noted that defense motivation is a main driver for the s elective evalua tion tendency (e.g., Cohen & Goldberg 1970; Fischer et al., 2011; Hart et al., 2009). Recently, however, other lines of research have proposed that the selective exposure effect can also occur due to increased accuracy motivation (e.g., Fi scher & Greitemeyer, 2008, 2010; Fischer et al., 2011). Accuracy the best quality informati on, and researchers have found that accuracy motivation helps people to make unbiased decisions as they are involved in more
49 careful and deeper reasoning (e.g., Kunda, 1990). Therefore, it is understandable that some may wonder how accuracy motivation lead s people to be biased information seekers. The underlying logic of this counterintuitive effect of accuracy motivation is that information seekers are unable to evaluate information quality independently of their own positions (Ditto & Lopez, 1992; Ditto e t al., 1998; Fischer & Greitemeyer, 2010 ; Fischer et al., 2010). In other words, researchers state that people employ different standards of evidence to evaluate propositions they wish to be true and propositio ns they wish to be false (Dawson et al. 2003; Kunda, 1990). Therefore, information seekers evaluate decision inconsistent information more critically than decision consistent information; and in turn, information seekers prefer decision consistent over decision inconsistent pieces of information ( Fis cher et al., 2010; Lord, Ross, & Lepper 1979). These arguments, however, where researchers propose the role of accuracy motivation on biased information processing can be misleading because of their ambiguous distinction between selective exposure and ev aluation. Strictly speaking, the influence of accuracy motivation may be greater on selective exposure, rather than selective evaluation. In the same vein, Lundgren and Prislin (1998) also noted that even though people desire to be objective, the use of n ew information to satisfy that desire can be limited by existing beliefs. Lord and his colleagues (1979) used the term biased assimilation process to indicate the propensity to remember the strengths of confirming evidence and the weakness of disconfirming evidence. In turn,
50 people judge confirming evidence as relevant and reliable whereas disconfirming evidence is seen as irrelevant and unreliable (Lord et al., 1979). Klayman and Ha (1987) used the term positive test strategy ies to examine information in a favorable light to their hypothesis (e.g., confirmation strategy). Positive test strategy instances Additionally, Klayman and Ha (1987) found that people rely on the positive test strategy when cognitive information processing demands are high, or when concrete, task specific informatio n is lacking. Edwards and Smith (1996) proposed a disconfirmation model stating that when arguments are not search to undermine the argument. Specifically, the model implies that people spend more time evaluating arguments or information that is incompatible with their prior belief compared to a situation where they are evaluating compatible arguments or information. That is, even though the deliberative memory search may supe rficially seem to be driven by accuracy motivation, the deliberative search is motivated by a defense motivation to search for disconfirming information. Additionally, people have more output from a memory search in cases of an incompatible argument or inf ormation because the initial activation of the memory search mainly retrieves information consistent with their prior beliefs whereas a deliberate memory search retrieves materials with refuting arguments. Thus, a deliberative memory search can be biased i nformation processing.
51 Typically, supporting information from memory is retrieved first because Lord and his colleagues (1979) also proposed a similar idea before Edwards and Smith (1996). They noted that people reduce the complexity of supportive evidence and remember it well. With disconfirming evidence, however, people seek a favorable interpretation to serve their prior beliefs. Thus, the later information processing requi res more time and a deliberative memory search. Furthermore, a study found that participants became more polarized in their prior beliefs by reading two arguments that were either supportive or non supportive of their prior beliefs (Lord et al., 1979) Lit erature in impression formation noted that people place more weight on negative than positive information when forming an overall evaluation of a target ( Ahluwalia Burnkrant & Unnava 2000 ). One ed evaluation of information. People simply perceive that negative information is more useful or diagnostic in making decisions ( Dawar & Pillutla, 2000) A study found that commitment toward a brand plays a moderating role in consumer selective evaluation tendencies (Ahluwalia et al., 2000) Specifically, they found that low commitment consumers give more weight to negative rather than positive information because they perceive the negative information as more diagnostic. In contrast, consumers with high commitment perceive that positive information is more diagnostic than negative information. Moreover, the study demonstrated that low commitment consumers do not m ake a counterargument to negative information, thus they perceive the negative information as more
52 diagnostic. On the other hand, high commitment consumer defense motivations play a role in making a counterargument for the negative information while suppor ting the positive information. Although Ahluwalia and colleagues understand their findings within the moderating role of commitment toward a brand on negativity effects, an alternative interpretation may be that consumer selective information processing is utilized to reduce cognitive dissonance and to work towards a preference for information consistent with their belief in a brand. If accuracy motivation can help a decision maker to process information objectively, some may address the case where the accu racy motivation is greater than the defense motivation (e.g., high risk of decision making). The integrative model by Fischer and Greitemeyer (2008) proposes that the paths in accuracy motivation can both reduce and increase the selective exposure effect w hereas defense motivation only increases it. Specifically, they propose that when the accuracy cue refers to the decision context (e.g., making an optimal choice), contrast, when t he accuracy cue refers to the information search task (e.g., finding qualitatively best information), increased selective exposure effects are observed. Fischer and Greitemeyer (2008) explained that the underlying mechanisms of these two different paths ar e due to: (1) a better fit between the consistent over inconsistent information. In a similar vein, Fischer and his colleagues (2011) found that people are more selective in their information searches and evaluations at the beginning rather than at the end of an
53 information search process because their motivations for accuracy are more salient at the beginning. A study also found the various ways in which information presentation after a preliminary decision influences selective exposure tendency (Jonas et al., 2001) Specifically, they compared sequential and simultaneous information seeking, and found that people show a stronger selective e xposure tendency when people seek information sequentially over simultaneous information seeking. Jonas and his colleagues (2001) noted the underlying mechanism of their finding was that when information was sequentially presented, the increased focus on t heir decision leads to a high commitment toward their prior decision, and this in turn, increases confirmation bias. That is, the strength of the prior belief is reinforced as people repeatedly evaluate the information. Therefore, it is inferred that peopl e experience reduced selective evaluation when the accuracy motivation about their decision is focal compared to when the focus is on the information search itself. In sum, even though some researchers have argued that accuracy motivation can lead to a con firmation bias (e.g., Fischer & Greitemeyer, 2010 ; Fischer et al., 2010), the distinction between selective evaluation from selective exposure reveals that the influence of accuracy motivation may be limited to the information exposure stage, and will not often lead to a selective evaluation stage unless the accuracy motivation in the information evaluation stage is greater than the defense motivation. Regulatory Focus and Selective Information Processing One of the purposes of this study is to determine t he biased information evaluation patterns influenced by regulatory focus, and research on regulatory
54 largely influenced by their regulatory focus (Wang & Lee, 2006). Regulatory focu s suggests that promotion focused people pursue their desired end states based on approaching matches whereas prevention regulation is based on avoiding mismatches to their desired end states. Therefore, promotion focused people typic ally show greater eagerness in goal pursuit compared to prevention focused people. On the other hand, prevention focused people show greater vigilance than promotion focused people (Higgins, 1997; Pham & Chang, 2010). Empirical findings support the idea t hat regulatory focus significantly instance, Pham and Chang (2010) pointed out that the evaluation stage and a strategies are different depending on their regulatory focus. In their experiment, the participants were asked to look at a fictitious French restaurant menu, and found out that promotion focused participants devoted a greater proportion of their search to higher levels of the menu structure (e.g., main menu categories), whereas prevention focused participan ts spent more time on looking a lower levels of the menu (e.g., dish descript ions). Thus, Pham and Chang (201 0) demonstrated that consumers with promotion focus tend to search for decision alternatives in a more global manner than prevention focused consum ers. They
55 explained that promotion focused consumers tended to search information on a more global level because it enabled them to find a broader range of opportunities whereas prevention focused consumers were concerned with making mistakes so they searc hed for information at a more local level. unhealthy food is driven by promotion focus. They found that the mere exposure to unhealthy food activates a predominant promotion focus for impuls ive behaviors because the promotion focus translates into an emphasis on the ideal attributes (e.g., great taste). Specifically, they induced promotion focus by providing their participants a slice of chocolate cake (vs. an apple or vegetable salad) before the participants entered the research lab. That is, activated promotion focus makes the positive aspects of hedonic stakes salient, such as good taste, whereas the negative aspects of it become slight (e.g., healthy nutrition). Therefore, it is inferred t hat the positive signal can be salient for people with promotion focus. Similar evidence can be found in consumer behavior research. Yoon and her colleagues (2012) recently found that people with promotion focus rely more on positive product information w hereas relative reliance on negative product information is greater for people with prevention focus. Yoon and her colleagues evaluate product information in a selective manne r consistent with their regulatory focus. Specifically, the findings support that promotion focused consumers place more weight on the promotion feature of the product (e.g.,
56 driving performance for a car), and prevention focused consumers place more weigh t on prevention features of the product (e.g., number of airbags for a car). Regulatory focus also influences consumer decision making strategy. A study found that consumers with promotion focus facilitate rapid progress toward a decision because promotio n focused people are sensitive to the presence and absence of positive outcomes and attempt to minimize errors of omission (Wan et al., 2009) However, prevention focused consumers try to maximize the accuracy of a judgment because they are sensitive to th e presence and absence of negative outcomes and attempt to minimize errors of omission. The study also implies that positive information will gain more attention from promotion focused consumers while prevention focused consumers will place more weight on negative information about products as they attempt to avoid making any mistakes. products and brand choice decisions are influenced by their regulatory focus. titudes toward a product or product preference are more favorable when the product benefits fit their regulatory focus (e.g., Avnet & Higgins, 2006; Idson et al., 2004; Lee et al., 2010). The following section will present hypotheses about regulatory fit effects between regulatory focus and advertising appeals. Hypotheses Development This section proposes a series of hypotheses based on regulatory focus/fit theories. Given that the purpose of this study is to examine the interaction effects of regulatory f ocus (promotion vs. prevention focused) and advertising appeals
57 (distinctive vs. hypotheses are intended to predict how advertising appeals pair with regulatory focus and create a fit. Also, this study predicts the regulatory fit effects on conditions will be created between promotion focused consumers encounter distinctive advertising appeals, and prevention focused consum ers read popularity advertising appeals. The hypotheses will be developed by addressing (1) related studies that demonstrate the regulatory fit effect with advertising based on their regulatory foci. As discussed in the previous sections, people adopt strategies and engage in activities that are consistent with their regulatory foci. That is, people with promotion focus are more sensitive to positive outcomes such as gains and no gains because they approach their goals with eagerness. However, people with prevention focus are more sensitive to negative outcomes such as losses and no losses because of their needs for safety and security (Crowe & Higgins, 1997; Higgins, 1997; Lee & Aaker, 2004). Thus, the concern of promotion focused people is to insure hits and error of omission whereas prevention focused people are concerned about correct rejection and errors of commission (Higgins et al. 2003; Lee et al. 2000). That is, people w ith a promotion focus do not want to overlook options (i.e., miss hits) whereas people with a prevention focus may not want to consider as many options as necessary because considering unnecessary options will cause them to make mistakes (Crowe &
58 Higgins, 1997; Liberman et al., 2001). Therefore, consumers pay attention to and rely selectively on information that helps them to attain their goals (Aaker & Lee, 2006). More recently, a study found that promotion focused consumers are more likely to rely on posi tive product information, whereas prevention focused consumers perceive that negative product information is more useful ( Yoon et al., 2012) The findings are consistent to the regulatory focus theory as positive information implies accomplishment and eagerness whereas negative information is related to safety and security. S everal researchers in advertising also have tried to examine the inf Cesario et al., 2004, Florack & Scarabis, 2006; Florack, Ineichen, & Bieri, 2009). Specifically, Florack and Scarabis (2006) examined the fit effect between regulatory focus and advertising claim on brand recall. They found that when promotion focused subjects were exposed to a promotion focused claim (e.g., Brand X: For an intensive tan), they showed better recall when they were encountered a prevention focused claim (e.g., Bran d X: The best protection for your skin). In this research, the similar fit effect between regulatory focus and advertising appeal, either distinctive or popularity appeals, are expected. A study found similar results in the advertising context (Florack et al., 2009) Additionally, the study examined the effectiveness of two sided advertising claims, and found that two sided advertising was less effective to the prevention focused subjects than promotion focused subjects, because subjects with prevention foc us are more sensitive to negative information and give more weight to negative
59 information than positive. People with promotion focus have higher willingness to take risks, but people with prevention focused try to avoid risks (i.e., higher risk aversion) (Keller, 2006). The fit effects between regulatory focus and advertising appeal on product evaluation can be drawn by demonstrating the relationship among self construal, regulatory focus, and advertising appeals. The concept of self construal is particula rly important in consumer research because self construal can impact the way in which individuals respond to product information (Aaker & Maheswaran, 1997; Mandel, 2003 ). For the relationship between self construal and regulatory focus, research by Angela Lee and her colleagues (2000) was the first to address the idea that self construal can be an antecedent of regulatory focus. Specifically, they demonstrated that people with a dominant independent self construal place more emphasis on promotion focused in formation, and those with a dominant interdependent self construal emphasize prevention focused information. That is, promotion focus pairs with independent self construal, and interdependent self construal pairs with prevention focus. For the relationshi p between self construal and advertising appeal, studies have shown that consumers with dominant independent self construal focus on unique characteristics that distinguish them from others (Aaker & Lee, 2001; Snyder & Fromkin, 1977). However, consumers wi th interdependent self construal have concerns about their assimilation with relevant others. That is, prevention focused consumers will be less likely to show favorable attitudes toward a product with distinctive features. This study expects that promotio n
60 focused consumers perceive distinctive features in a product as an opportunity to make a better choice (i.e., outcomes as advancement), whereas consumers with prevention focus will regard popular products (i.e., common choice by other consumers) as a pro mise of product quality. As promotion focus is more salient for people with independent self views, and prevention focus is focal to interdependent self view, it seems logical to presume that a distinctive appeal is more effective for people with promotion focus while a popularity appeal may be more effective for people with prevention focus. In sum, this study expects that the effect will be more likely to occur when promotion focused consumers are exposed to distinctive advertising appeals compared to whe n they are exposed to popularity appeals. For prevention focused consumers, however, a fit effect is expected to be observed when they are exposed to popularity advertising appeals. Based on the discussion, the following hypotheses are presented next : H1a: For distinctive advertising appeals, consumers with promotion focus will have more positive attitudes toward the advertising than consumers with prevention focus. H1b : For popularity advertising appeals, consumers with p revention focus will have more pos itive attitudes toward the advertising than consumers with promotion focus. H2a : For distinctive advertising appeals, consumers with promotion focus will have more positive attitudes toward a product than consumers with prevention focus. H2b: For popularity advertising appeals, consumers with p revention focus will have more positive attitudes toward a product than consumers with promotion focus.
61 H3a : For distinctive advertising appeals, consumers with pro motion focus will have higher purchase inte ntions than consumers with prevention focus. H3b : For popularity advertising appeals, consumers w ith prevention focus will have higher purchase intentions than consumers with promotion focus. Chapter 3 discuss es in detail the study design created to exam ine the proposed hypotheses. Specifically, the C hapter will provide the study sampling, recruiting pr ocedure, procedure, stimuli measurement instruments and pretests
62 Figure 2 1. Distinction between Promotion and Prevention Focus Promotion f ocus Nurturance n eeds A dvancement n eeds Strong Ideas, Hopes, Wishes, Aspiration Gain No gain situation/incentives Insure hits/Error of o mission Eager judgment s trategy Approach as strategic m eans Elation Dejection e motions Sens itivity to Presence/Absence of positive o utcomes Emphasizing s peed Prevention f ocus Security Needs Strong Oughts, Duties, Responsibility, Obligations Nonloss Loss situation/incentives Insure correct rejection and against errors of c ommissions Vigilant judgment s trategy Avoidance as strategic m eans Relaxation Agitation e mot ions Sensitivity t o presence/absence of negative o utcomes Emphasizing a ccuracy
63 Distinctive advertising a ppeal Popularity advertising a ppeal Purpose Advancement Insure safe choice High quality perceived r isk High Low Cultural v alue Independent s elf construal Interdependent s elf construal Nature of a p roduct Unrivaled, incomparable, unparalleled Common, customary, well known, conventional, regular, standard, general, everyday Examples Figure 2 2. Comparison of Distinctive and Popularity Advertising Appeals
64 CHAPTER 3 METHOD The research examines differences in attitudes and purchase intention among experiment groups based on their regulatory focus prior to advertisement exposure. To examine the proposed hypotheses, this study applied a post test only experimental design. The independent variables in this study are 1) regulatory focus, and 2) advertising appeal. Regulatory focus was manipulated according to a state induced tendency toward promotion focus or preventio n focus. Advertising appeals were manipulated based on the cr iterion of distinctive appeal or popularity appeal. The research design consist ed of four different conditions: two fit conditions and two nonfit conditions. Recall, a fit condition was intended to mance outcomes when th coincide d with the advertising appeal used On the other hand, nonfit conditions create d regulatory state and the advertising appeal used, thus resulting in less effective bu siness outcomes. Specifically, the two presumed fit conditions consist ed of 1) the promotion focus x distinctive appeal cell and 2) the prevention focus x popularity appeal cell. In contrast, the nonfit conditions consist of 1) the promotion focused x pop ularity appeal cell and 2) the prevention focused x distinctive appeal cell. Table 3 1 presents a visual representation of the assigned variables by condition
65 Sampling and Recruiting Subjects were recruited through advertising, public relations journal ism, and telecommunication courses from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. To recruit the subjects, the researcher of this study contact ed instructors of advertising, public relations journalism, and telecommunicat ion courses during the week of March 4, 2013. Upo n agreement between the researcher and i nstructors, each subject was compensated for her or his time with extra credit points. If a student was enrolled in two or more courses, the subjects received extra cr edit for all courses by participating in one experiment session. Specifically, the invitation letter was sent to students via e mail. The invitation include d the purpose of the experiment, anticipated completion time, data collection time frame, research l ab location, and process of the participation Additionally, the invitation provided a URL to the online scheduling service, doodle.com The on line scheduling service provided available time slots for each subject, and the subjects could select the time slot most convenien t for them To use the online scheduling service, the students were asked to provide their e mail address es Their e mail addresses were only used to send reminders to them to encourage them to visit the research lab. Th e data collection time was the week of March 11, 2013. The next section discusses the procedure for the experiment, the measurement instruments, and stimulus development.
66 Experimental Procedure Multiple sessions with a maximum of eight student subjects w ere administered in a research lab at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. Each subject was seated individually at a desk, and data were collected through questionnaire booklets The booklets consisted of three section regulatory focus. The second section included manipulation of regulatory focus, and the last section contained advertising appeals to be tested and dependent variables. Upon arrival at the research lab, the subjects received an informed consent form clarifying the The consent form contained (1) the purpose of the study, (2) their rights and obligations as a participant, and (3) the agreement of confidentiality. Duplicate copies of the consent forms were given to subjects so that they had a record outlining their rights as a participant in the experiment. To provide extra credit for their participation, th e researcher collected each subject s name, and the course she/he is taking. This information about the subjects was destroyed after the extra credit was given to the subjects. A sample of the informed consent form is presented in Appendix A After the sub jects had read and signed an informed consent form agreeing to participa te in the experiment, they were asked to complete the questions in the first section of the booklet. The questions in the first section measured the Then, a proctor in the lab randomly distributed the second section of the questionnaire containing either the promotion focus or
67 prevention focu s manipulation materials to the subjects across the experiment sessions. Subjects were asked to read a priming scenario intended to activate the appropriate state condition to which the individual had been assigned (i.e., promotion focus or prevent ion focus). A question that asked about th e regulatory focus scenario was follow ed as a means for gauging the effective ness of the manipulation. The subjects in one session received the same condition, thus, the influence of unexpected effects from other subjects was minimized. After the regulatory focus manipulation, the subjects receive d the last section of the questionnaire including one of two advertising appeals either a distinctive or popularity adve rtising appeal. Subjects were instructed to view the advertisement at their normal pace before proceeding to a series of questions intende d to measure 1) attitude toward the advertising, 2) at titude toward the product and 3) purchase intention. Additional cl assification questions were also included on the instrument to better understand the profile of the subject pool, including age, gender ethnicity, and academic major. When all subjects completed the questionnaire the experimenter distribute d a written debriefing statement explaining the actual purpose of the research. The subjects were then thanked for their time and dismissed. The time for this procedure was about 20 minutes. The next section discusses the development of stimuli, along with measurements for dependent variables and covariates u sed in the experiment.
68 Development of Stimuli Case of Examination: Target Product Selection Selection of a target product was important in this study because the target product was involved in the manipulation of both independent variables: regulatory focu s and advertising appeals. To select a test product for the experiment, the selected product had to be relevant to undergraduate students (i.e., high involvement level). This study utilized a travel package to Europe for summer break as a target product. S interest in traveling ( Chadee & Cutler, 1996; Field, 1999 general interest in the product category, the travel package to Europe is deemed appropriate because of college stu and interest level in travelling Europe (Gmelch, 1997). Some may address concerns that college students will prefer independent travel arrangements (i.e., purchasing flights, accommodations, and food separately) over a travel package. However, Field ( 1999 ) found that college students preferred to use a travel package compared to making independent travel arrangement s especially if they are staying more than five days at a destination S electing a travel package to Euro pe as a targe t product can also be justified because travelers who visit Europe stay more than a week, and travel packages have advantages when travelers are actively visiting various places for a long time period of time (Gmelch, 1997). Lastly, a travel p ackage has also been used in other regulatory focus and advertising claims studies ( e.g., Florack & Scarabis, 2006).
69 Stimulus for Regulatory Focus Priming regulatory focus using scenarios ( e.g., Lee et al., 2010; Liberman et al., 2001 ; Pham & Chang, 2010), two different travel articles were developed to induce the articles used to prime relative promotion or prevention focus, were about 36 0 words long and structurally the same across conditions. In both versions, the subjects were asked to imagine that they were about t o plan a trip to Europe to make g reat memories during this summer break. The subjects were notified tha t they would be plann ing the trip and considering a travel package. The subjects viewed two different introductory statements. For the subjects in the promotion condition, the subjects were asked to imagine that they would be traveling with their close fri end. However, the subjects in the prevention condition were situated, as they would be travelling with their family. The introduction of the manipulation materials are presented below: Promotion regulatory focus condition: Imagine that you and your close f riend are planning a trip for the summer. You and your friends want to create a lot of good memories during the trip. You have discussed the destination and decided to travel to Europe. Today, you found an article about summer travel abroad from the US To urism Association. The article provides useful tips for an enjoyable/fun trip to Europe. Please read the article on the next page very carefully. Prevention regulatory focus condition: Imagine that you and your family are planning a trip for the summer. Y ou and your family want to create a lot of good memories during the trip. You have discussed the destination and decided to travel to Europe. Today, you found an article about summer travel abroad from the US Tourism Association. The article provides usef ul tips for a safe to Europe. Please read the article on the next page very carefully.
70 After the introduction, a list of six things that could happen during the trip was presented to subjects 1) The list s var ied Specifically, the subjects in the promotion focus condition were exposed to good things that could happen during the trip in Europe (e.g., visiting local restaurants, making new friends). Howev er, the subjects in the prevention focus condition were exposed to bad things that could happen during the trip (e.g., luggage lost, bedbugs) T he articles of the list were presented as a typical blog postin g format (i.e., contents with title ). This study e xpected that asking the subjects to indicate the things they would like to pursue or avoid during the break would strengthen the manipulation of regulatory focus (Florack & Scarabis, 2006, study 1) Thus, after the exposure of the lists of six things that could happen during summer break, the subjects were asked to select which things they would actively pursue (for promotion condition) or avoid (for prevention condition) during the summer b reak. In sum, the materials were designed so that the purpose of t he trip was the same in both conditions (i.e., making good memories during summer break), but the means for pursuing that goal would depend on the regulatory focus condition (Cesario et al., 2004; Higgins, 2006; Pham & Tamar, 2004). Subjects who were expos ed to the promotion focused scenario would evaluate a travel package based on how much fun and pleasure they would have, whereas the subjects who were exposed to the prevention focused scenario would evaluate a travel package considering how they could avo id potential risks to ensure a
71 memorable trip. The articles for regulatory focus manipulation are presented in Appendix B Development of Advertising Appeals To examine the effects of advertising appeals (distinctive and popularity appeals) on dependent va riables, two advertiseme nts were developed for this study To develop these advertisements, the study needed to decide on two ele ments: company name and distinctive and popularity appeals. First, this study use d a fictitious company name as experimental st imuli to brand. A fictitious name for the packaged tour agency, Travelshot was selected by a random business name generator (biznamewiz.com). The random business name generator s uggested random busin ess names with a keyword that is business name that was generated first. A dvertisements were adapted and mocked up for distinctive and popularity appeals from real travel package advertisements. Specifically, this study first filtered advertisements of travel package for summer break from travel magazines such as Departures and National Geog raphy Then, advertisements that had no images were selected to avoid any unexpected influences from images of people or scenery in advertisements. A professional graphic designer developed the advertisements using the format of a real advertisement Two different appeals in headline copies and contents for the travel package were adopted from real advertisements and modified with four advertising students
72 with ising. The disti nctive appeal version of the advertisement emphasized the and presented in Appendix C Measurement Instrument The questionnaire was organized into three sections: (1) pre manipulation questionnaire, (2) manipulation of regulatory focus, (3) advertising exposure, and (4) pos t manipulation questionnaire. The pre manipulation questionnaire included chronic regulatory focus, their general interest in traveling to Europe was measured. Then, their reg ulatory focuses were induced in the second section of questionnaire. After the subjects were exposed to regulatory focus manipulation, they were exposed to an advertisement, and answered questions of dependent variables (i.e., attitude toward advertising, attitude toward the product, purchase intention), manipulation checks, and demographic questions (i.e., gender, age, major, class classification) in the post manipulation questionnaire. First, chronic regulatory focus was measured as a covariate prior to m anipulation. To measure the c hronic regulatory focus, this study used Haws, D holakia, and Bearden (2010) Regulatory Focus Composite Scale (RF COMP). The RF COMP scale is ten items measured with seven point scales from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 7 ( strongly agree
73 promotion focus, and the other five items related to their chronic prevention focus. adopted Zaichkowsky irrelevant / relevant undesirable / desirable / matters to me uninterested / interested boring / interesting not involved / highly involved unexciting / exciting This study hypothesized s toward the advertising/product and purchase intention would differ depending on fit/nonfit conditi ons between regulatory focus and advertising appeals. To determine the interaction effects of regulatory focus and the types of advertising appeals, three dependent variables, attitude toward the advertising, attitude toward the travel package, and purcha se intention, were measured using items from previous studies in advertising and consumer behavior. Attitude s toward the advertising were postulated to be a causal mediating variable influencing brand attitudes and purchase intentions (MacKenzie, Lutz, & B elch, 1986). Adapted from previous studies, a 7 point semantic differential scale ( bad / good dislike / like irritating / not irritating and uninteresting / uninteresting ) was used to measure attitude s toward the advertising (Gardner, 1985; Mitchell & Olson, 1981). Attitude s toward the travel package were measured with four items on a 7 good / bad like / dislike
74 favorable / unfavorable positive / negative adapted and modifie d for this study (Bruner, 1998; Holbrook & Batra, 1987) Finally, the scores of the four items were averaged to obtain an index score for the attitude toward the product. Intention to purchase is a common effectiveness measure that is often used to anticip ate a response behavior (Li, Daugherty & Biocca, 2002). Adapted from various studies in advertising, an established four item, 7 point semantic differential scale ( unlikely / likely improbable / probable uncertain / certain and definitely not / definitely ) wa s used to measure the likelihood that subjects would purchase the travel package (Bearden, Lichtenstein & Teel, 1984; Li et al., 2002; Wee, Tan & Cheok, 1995) For the manipulation check of regulatory focus, a single item was asked after the dependent important aspects, ranging from 1 ( something I ought to ) to 7 ( something I want to ) (Keller, 2006). In addition, perceived popularity and uniqueness were measured to examine the success of the advertisin Specifically, scales were adopted from Mishra Umesh, and (1993 ) study, and these scales measured perceived popularity with four items on a 7 point not an industry leader / industry le ader not at all popular / very popular not widely accepted / widely accepted few like it / many like it product package, the subjects were asked to answer three 7 point questions adopted f rom Dean (1999). The questions examined to what extent the
75 advertised travel package was memorable, different, and unique from other travel packages. Appendix D shows the scales and items used in the experiment. Pretest s A series of Web based pretests were conducted to ensure the priming of regulatory focus and the validity of advertisements developed. The first pretest was designed to confirm the validity of the regulatory focus manipulation using the measures and resulting indexes. For this pretest, a to tal of 24 subjects participated in a Web based survey. The subjects were recruited from advertising and public relations classes (International Advertising and Ethics and Professional Responsibilities) in exchange for extra credit. The subjects participate d in the survey at their convenience within a week after receiving a URL to the survey was given from their instructor. Upon consenting to participate, the subjects were asked questions about their chronic regulatory focus (Haws et al., 2010). After they a nswered the questions, they were randomly assigned either positive things that could happen during traveling (e.g., meeting new friends) or negative things that could happen during traveling (e.g., lost bags). Then, they were asked which of the things ment ioned in the article would they actively pursue (for promotion focus) or avoid (for prevention focus). A one way repeated measures ANOVA (analysis of variances) was calculated comparing the regulatory focus score before and after the exposure of manipulati on materials. As expected, a significant effect of manipulation materials was found ( F (1, 21) = 11.185, P = .003). Follow up t tests revealed that when the subjects were induced by promotion focus materials, their regulatory focus scores were significantl y increased toward promotion focus
76 ( M p re manipulation = 4.08, SD = 2.02: M po st manipulation = 5.42, SD = 1.83) ( t = 2.464, p = .031). However, when subjects were introduced to prevention focus materials, their regulatory focus scores were significantly reduced toward prevention focus ( M p re manipulation = 4.36, SD = 2.29: M p ost manipulation = 3.36, SD = 2.16) ( t = 2.345, p = .04 1). Therefore, the manipulation materials for regulatory focus were valid. The second pretest was designed to examine the validity of the developed advertisements. Specifically, the pretest was created to find out if the two developed advertisements each h ad similar levels of high believability, credibility, and readability. For this pretest, 37 subjects were recruited from advertising and public relations classes (Advertising Research and Public Relations Campaigns) in exchange for extra credit. In the sam e way as the first pretest, the subjects participated in the survey at their convenience within a week after receiving a URL to the survey from their instructor. Upon agreeing to participate, the subjects were randomly assigned to one of two conditions, ei ther distinctive or popularity appeals by Qualtrics an online survey service (18 subjects in distinctive, and 19 subjects in the popularity appeal condition). After exposure to the advertisement, the subjects answered questions about the believability, cr edibility, and readability of the advertisements. Lastly, the subjects were debriefed after the demographic questions. Independent t tests were performed to examine whether the developed advertisements have similar levels of believability, credibility, and readability. First, four items on a seven point semantic differential scale ( not believable / highly believable, not true / absolutely true not acceptable / totally
77 acceptable not credible / very credible ) were used for believability of the advertisements (Chro = .916 ) (Grhan Canli & Maheswaran, 2000) and five items on a seven point semantic differential scale ( not credible / credible, unreliable / reliable, not an expert / expert, unqualified / qualified unskilled / skilled ) were used for credibility of the = .938 ) (Lichtenstein & Bearden, 1989). For readability of the advertisements, two items on a seven point semantic differential scale ( confused / clear not easy to read / easy to read ) were adopted from (Chebat, Gelinas Chebat & Hombourger, 2003) = .912 ). The results reveal that the two advertisements were not significantly different from each other in terms of believability ( M distinctive = 5.36, M popularity = 5.49, t = .406, p > .05), credibility ( M distinctive = 5 .67, M popularity = 5.72, t = .113, p > .05), and readability ( M distinctive = 6.28, M popularity = 5.84, t = .973, p > .05). The results imply that the developed advertisements were valid to examine, and all of the stimuli subsequently were used for the main study.
78 Table 3 1. Overview of experimental design Promotion focus Prevention focus Distinctive appeal Fit Nonfit Popularity appeal Nonfit Fit
79 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The data of the experiment were analyzed and presented in this chapter. Prior to hypotheses testing, this chapter presents a description of subjects, reliability tests, and manipulation checks. For the hypotheses testing, multivariate and univariate analyses were performed using IBM SPSS Statistics 21 software at a 95 percent confidence level. Description of Subjects A total of 150 subjects participated in this experiment, and they were randomly assigned one of four experimental conditions. Eighteen subjects failed to complete the questionnaire, thus, the responses from 132 subjects were included for the data analysis. Specifically, 69 subjects were assigned to fit conditions, whereas 63 subjects were assigned to nonfit conditions. Out of 69 subjects in fit conditions, the number of subjects in the promotion focus distinctive appeal condition was 32, and the number of s ubjects in the prevention focus popularity appeal were 37. Also, the number of subjects in the prevention focus distinctive appeal and the promotion focus popularity appeal were 28 and 35, respectively (Table 4 1). The age of the subjects ranged from 19 t o 28 years old, and the mean age was 20.58 ( SD = 1.16). Female subjects ( N = 107, 81.1%) outnumbered male ( N =25, 18.9%). Thirty one percent of the subjects were advertising majors, 24.2 percent were telecommunication majors, 12.1 percent were public relations majors, followed by journalism (7.6%), English literature (6.1%), business (5.3%), and political scienc e (3.0%). Approximately, 60 percent of the subjects were
80 Caucasian, 25.8 percent were Hispanic, 7.6 percent were African American, and Table 4 2. A series of ANOVA was conducted to examine any potential effects of variables (i.e., attitude toward advertising, attitude toward product, and purchase intention). However, no significant differences of the s ubject demographics were found in all dependent variables (Table 4 3). Additionally, a regression analysis and dependent variables. However, no relationships were found between su purchase intention (Table 4 4). Therefore, the samples were combined for the further analysis. Reliability Checks The internal consistencies of dependent measures and chronic re gulatory focus were tested using reliability analyses. The reliability estimates for attitude Additionall were computed, adopted from a study of regulatory focus ( Haws et al., 2010). ) were also acceptable. In terms of the general interest in traveling to Europe, the reliability estimate for this measure Additionally, reliability analyses were
81 conducted for perceived uniqueness and perceived po pularity. The reliability estimates for perceived uniqueness ( ), and perceived popularity ( ) were acceptable. The chronic regulatory focus scores, general interest in traveling to Europe, perceived uniqueness, perceived popularity, and three dependent variables scores were computed by averaging all items in each measurement based on the reliability analyses. Manipulation Checks Regarding the regulatory focus manipulation, the subjects were asked to point scale (1= something I ought to 7 = something I want to ) (Keller, 2006). As expected, a t test confirmed that promotion focused subjects ( M promotion = 4.75 SD = 1.80 ) rated that it was more important to them to do what they wanted to do than what they ought to do, compared to the subjects in the prevention focus condition ( M pr evention = 3.75 SD = 1.85 ), t = 3.12 p = .002. Thus, the manipulation of regulatory was successful. Another t test was conducted to examine the manipulation of advertising appeal types. As intended, there were significant manipulation effects of advertising appeals. That is, subjects who were exposed to distinctive appeals ( M distinctive = 4.69 SD = 1.12 ) scored significantly higher than subjects who read popularity advertising appeals ( M popularity = 4.08 SD = 1.19 ), t = 2.99, p = .003 on perceived uniqueness. However, subjects who were exposed to popularity advertising appeals perceived that the travel package w as more popular ( M popularity = 5 46 SD = .92 ), than the subjects were in distinctive advertising
82 appeal condition ( M distinctive = 4. 70 SD = .92 ) t = 4.65 p < .001. Therefore, all independent variables were successfully manipulated. Hypotheses Testing In this study, regulatory focus was manipulated as a situational variable, as people activate a promotion or prevention focus depending on situations. However, studies examining the influences of regulatory focus on advertising effectiveness have found the focus on persuasiveness (e.g., Zhao & Pechmann, 2007). Thus, it is conceivable that chronic regulatory focus may play a role on dependent variables even though the manipulation of regulatory focus was s uccessful. To ensure the and prevention focus were measured separately and entered in the further analyses as covariates. A Multivariate Analysis of Co Variance (MANCOVA ) was conducted to examine the effects of independent variables on combined dependent variables, covarying out the effect of chronic regulatory focus. Conducting MANCOVA was justified as the correlation analysis for dependent variables, and it confirmed th e significant positive relationships between dependent variables, attitude toward advertising attitude toward the product and purchase intention (Table 4 5). A two way between subjects MANCOVA was calculated to examine the effects of regulatory focus and advertising appeal types on attitude toward advertising, product, and purchase intention. However, chronic promotion focus and prevention were not significantly related to,
83 F (3, 121) = .420 p > .05, prevention focus: Wilk F (3, 121) = .311 p > .05. Therefore, this study repeated the analysis without including the covariates. As expected, the Multivariate A nalysis of Variance (MAN OVA) revealed no significant main effects of regulatory focus 970 F ( 3 123 ) = 1.271 p > .05 and types of advertising appeals 994 F ( 3 123 ) = .244 p > .05. However, the results revealed a significant two way interaction effect between regulatory focus and the types of advertising appeals 906 F ( 3 126) = 4 256 p = 007 (Table 4 6). Follow up univariate ANOVAs indicated the significant two way interaction between regulatory focus and the types of advertising appeals on attitude toward advertising ( F ( 1,125) = 8.923, p = .003), and attitude toward the travel package ( F (1,125) = 4.326, p = .040). However, no significant two way interaction effect was found on purchase intention ( F (1,125) = .133, p > .05). Means and standard deviations for all dependent variables are summ arized in Table 4 7. To have better understanding of the interaction effects of regulatory focus and the types of advertising appeals, this study conducted separate univariate analyses for each of the dependent variables. Hypotheses 1a and 1b predicted th e two way interaction effects between regulatory focus and advertising appeals on the attitude toward advertising. Specifically, H1a and H1b expected that, under fit conditions, consumers have more positive attitudes toward advertising than those who are i n nonfit conditions. As shown in Table 4 8, a significant two way interaction effect on attitudes toward advertising were found, F (1, 128) = 8.531, p = .004. Contrary to
84 H1a, however, planned contrast tests revealed that when consumers with prevention focu s were exposed to a distinctive advertising appeal ( M prevention distinctive = 5.36, SD = .86), they had more positive attitudes toward the advertising than consumers with a promotion focus ( M promotion distinctive = 4.72, SD = 1.32), F (1, 128) = 4.391, p = .038. Inconsistent with H1b, when consumers with promotion focus were exposed to popularity appeals ( M promotion popularity = 5.32, SD = .88), they showed more favorable attitudes toward advertising than consumers with a prevention focus ( M prevention popula rity = 4.79, SD = 1.24), F (1, 128) = 4.149, p = .04 (Figure 4 1). Hypotheses 2a and 2b predicted the positive fit effects between regulatory product. A significant two way intera ction effect on attitude toward the product was found, F (1,125) = 4.326, p = .04. Planned contrast tests revealed inconsistent results from H2a and H2b. The results indicated that there were no significant difference between promotion ( M promotion distinct ive = 5.01, SD = .96) and prevention focused consumers ( M prevention distinctive = 5.27, SD = .92) when they were exposed to distinctive advertising appeals, F (1.125) = .829, p > .05. However, when they were exposed to popularity advertising appeals, the consumers with a promotion focus ( M promotion popularity = 5.37, SD = 1.01) showed more positive attitudes toward the product than the consumers with a prevention focus ( M preventio n popularity = 4.84, SD = 1.30), F (1,125) = 4.43, p = .037 (Figure 4 2). Hypotheses 3a and 3b stated that when there is a fit between regulatory focus and the types of advertising appeals, the consumers would have higher
85 purchase intention than consumers i n nonfit conditions. However, there were no significant differences between conditions, F (1,128) = .071, p > .05. Table 4 9 shows a summary of ANOVAs results for all dependent variables. In sum, the results of the experiment showed that when distinctive ad vertising appeals were presented, prevention focused consumers had more positive attitudes toward advertising than consumers with promotion focus. Additionally, when a popularity appeal was presented, consumers with promotion focus had more positive attitu des toward advertising and the product than consumers with a prevention focus. To gain a better understanding of the unexpected results, additional analyses were performed. Additional Analysis The results of the experiment revealed the positive effect of n onfit conditions (promotion focus popularity appeal, prevention distinctive appeal) over fit conditions (prevention focus popularity appeal, promotion distinctive appeal) on the attitude toward the advertising and the product. Additional data analy ses were conducted to examine possible explanations for the unexpected results in the experiment. level to maximize their information processing in the experiment setting. However, regulatory fit effect. For instance, Wang and Lee (2006) examined involvement in effect. They found th at uninvolved subjects relied on their regulatory focus as a
86 filter to process information and paid more attention to information that addressed their regulatory focus concerns than the involved subjects. In this study, subjects were asked to indicate the ir general interest in traveling to Europe prior to prime regulatory focus using seven items on a seven point semantic differential scale (irrelevant/relevant, undesirable/desirable, not = 830 ). As expected, subjects had high general interest levels in traveling to Europe ( M = 6.15, SD = .598). A multiple linear regression was performed predicting interests in traveling to Europe based on their chronic regulatory focus. A significant regression equation was found ( R 2 = .061, F (2,129) = 4.160, p = .018). chronic promotion focus is significantly related to the ir general interest in traveling to Europe, = .254 t = 2.780 p = .005, while chronic prevention focus was not, = 020 t = 472, p interest in traveling to Europe did not significantly influence the manipulation of r egulatory focus ( R 2 = 012, F (1,130) = 1.549, p > .05) or advertising appeals (distinctive appeal: R 2 = 002, F (1,130) = .259, p > .005, popularity appeal: R 2 = .001, F (1,130) = .160, p > .05). In sum, the subjects in this study were highly involved in the decision making task regardless of their manipulation of regulatory focus and advertising appeals.
87 Table 4 1. Number of subjects by the experimental conditions Distinctive appeal Popularity appeal Promotion focus Prevention focus Prevention focus Promotion focus 32 (24.2%) 28 (21.2%) 37 (28%) 35 (26.5%) Table 4 2. Descriptions of the sample Number Percent Gender Female 107 81.1 Male 25 18.9 Age ( SD ) 20.58 ( 1.16 ) Major Advertising 41 31.1 Telecommunication 32 24.2 Public Relations 16 12.1 Journalism 10 7.6 English Literature 8 6.1 Business 7 5.3 Political Science 4 3.0 Others 14 10.6 Class Junior 69 52.3 Sophomore 32 24.2 Senior 30 22.7 Freshman 1 .8 Ethnicity Caucasian 80 60.6 Hispanic 34 25.8 African American 10 7.6 Asian 5 3.8 Other 2 1.5
88 Table 4 3. One way ANOVA for gender on dependent variables Dependent v ariables Sum of s quares DF Mean s quare F Sig. Gender Attitude toward a d .208 1 .208 .163 .687 Attitude toward p roduct 2.882 1 .882 2.479 .118 Purchase i ntention .403 1 4032 .417 .515 Major Attitude toward a d 5.979 7 .854 .664 .702 Attitude toward p roduct 1.435 7 .205 .166 .991 Purchase i ntention 3.191 7 .456 .471 .854 Ethnicity Attitude toward a d 4.006 4 1.002 .792 .532 Attitude toward p roduct 1.600 4 .400 .330 .857 Purchase i ntention 1.537 4 .384 .398 .810 Class Attitude toward a d 2.646 3 .882 .693 .558 Attitude toward p roduct .164 3 .055 .045 .987 Purchase i ntention .518 3 .173 .180 .910 Table 4 4. Regression for age on dependent variables Std. Beta t value Sig. Attitude toward Ad vertising .097 1.110 .269 Attitude toward product .056 .637 .525 Purchase intention .003 .034 .973 Table 4 5. Correlations of dependent variables Attitude toward a d vertising Attitude toward product Purchase intention Attitude toward a d vertising 1 .631 ** 592** Attitude toward product .631** 1 .572** Purchase intention .592** .572** 1 Note: ** Correlation is significant at the .01 level.
89 Table 4 6. Multivariate tests of two way interaction Effect Value F Hypothesis DF Error DF Sig. 2 Intercept .967 1192.048 3 123 .000 .967 Lambda .033 1192.048 3 123 .000 .967 Trace 29.074 1192.048 3 123 .000 .967 Largest Root 29.074 1192.048 3 123 .000 .967 Regulatory focus (RF) .030 1.271 3 123 287 .030 Lambda .97 0 1.271 3 123 287 .030 Trace .0 31 1.271 3 123 287 .030 Largest Root .0 31 1.271 3 123 287 .030 Ad appeal .006 244 3 123 .8 6 5 .006 Lambda .994 244 3 123 .8 6 5 .006 Trace .006 244 3 123 .8 6 5 .006 Largest Root .006 244 3 123 .8 6 5 .006 RF Ad appeal .09 4 4. 256 3 123 .007 .094 Lambda .90 6 4. 256 3 123 .007 094 Trace .10 4 4. 256 3 123 .007 094 Largest Root .10 4 4. 256 3 123 .007 094
90 T able 4 7. Means and standard deviations by conditions for dependent variables Dependent variables Regulatory focus Advertising appeals Mean Std. d eviation Attitude toward advertising Promotion Distinctive 4.76 1.32 Popularity 5.32 .88 Prevention Distinctive 5.36 .86 Popularity 4.79 1.24 Attitude toward product Promotion Distinctive 5.01 .96 Popularity 5.37 1.01 Prevention Distinctive 5.27 .92 Popularity 4.84 1.30 Purchase intention Promotion Distinctive 4.09 1.13 Popularity 4.21 .91 Prevention Distinctive 4.29 .85 Popularity 4.33 1.01 Table 4 8 A s ummary of ANOVA s results Dependent v ariables Regulatory focus Advertising appeals Regulatory focus x advertising appeal Attitude toward advertising F = .031 F = .000 F = 8.531 ** Attitude toward the product F = 518 F = .0 31 F = 4.326 Purchase intention F = 1.081 F = .331 F = .133 Note: p <.05, ** p < .01
91 Figure 4 1. Two way interaction between r egulatory focus and advertising appeals on attitude toward advertising Figure 4 2 Two way interaction between regulator y focus an d advertising appeals on attitude toward product 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 Distinctive Popularity Promotion Prevention 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 Distinctive Popularity Promotion Prevention Attitude toward product Attitude toward advertising
92 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION S ummary and Discussion of Results The objective of this study is to examine how persuasive messages intention depending on their motivational states. Specifically, the current study investigates the interaction effects of two distinct types of advertising appeals ( i.e., distinc tive and popularity appeals) and regulatory focus ( i.e., promotion and prevention focus). This study hypothesized regulatory fit effects between regulatory focus and advertising appeals in persuasion. Specifically, the hypotheses expected that consumers in fit conditions (promotion focus/distinctive appeal and prevention focus/popularity appeal) would have more favorable attitudes toward advertising, product, and purchase intention than consumers in nonfit conditions (promotion focus/popularity appeal and p revention focus/distinctive appeal). However, contrary to the expected outcomes, consumers in nonfit conditions showed more positive attitudes toward advertising and product. T his chapter discusses possible explanation s for the reversed results ; it further highlights the contributions and implications of this study to both researchers and managers. Although marketing communicators are trying to find relevant messages that match consumer profiles ( Iyer, Soberman, & Villas Boas, 2005) and product types (Lieb ermann & Flint Goor, 1996) to maximize the effectiveness of their advertisements, the results of this study suggest that the fit between advertising
93 distinctive advertising appeal s are more effective for consumers who have salient prevention focus than for consumers with promotion focus in terms of attitudes toward advertising. However, popularity advertising appeals elicit more favorable attitudes toward advertising and product fo r the promotion focused consumers compared to prevention focused consumers. To explain the unexpected results, this discussion focuses on the potential effect of boundary condition and the possibility of wrong prediction of fit and nonfit conditions. Firs high involvement level in the decision making process. As the additional analyses in Chapter 4 indicated, the subjects had a strong interest in traveling to Europe. In addition to their general inte rest in traveling, the lab setting forced the subjects to become involved in a decision making task that could potentially increase their involvement level. Thus, when they were exposed to the advertisement in the experiment, they were highly motivated to process the information available to them. The role of involvement level as a possible moderator is considerable as the regulatory fit effect is the result of heuristic processing rather than systematic processing (Briley & Aaker, 2006; Wang & Lee, 2006). Lee (2004) noted that involved people allocate more cognitive resources to information and have more chances to correct their initial response. Meanwhile, uninvolved people are less likely to expend cognitive resources to process the information and rely more on their regulatory goals. Thus, the regulatory focus acts as a filter for the
94 information to which people pay more attention when they engage in heuristic processing. Supporting the moderating role of involvement on regulatory fit effects, Wang and L ee (2006) found the moderating role of involvement in regulatory fit effects on persuasion. Specifically, they found that, when people are motivated to process information, they are more likely to pay attention to information more systematically in general independent of regulatory focus relevance. In contrast, when people are not motivated to process information, they rely on their regulatory focus as a filter to select relevant information for processing and pay more attention to information that address es their regulatory focus. Thus, uninvolved people show higher selectivity than involved people. In addition, Evans and Petty (2003) suggested the moderating role of need for cognition in the regulatory fit effect. In their study, when subjects had a low n eed for cognition, they were more likely to be persuaded by the quality of the argument in the advertisement than subjects with a high need for cognition. Thus, when people have more resources to process information, the role of regulatory focus as a filte r is minimal. As discussed in Chapter 2 in terms of the underlying mechanism of regulatory fit effect, studies in regulatory fit have noted that are not observed when peop le recognize the source of the feeling (Cesario et al., 2004). In other words, when people put forth cognitive efforts in the decision making process (i.e., high involvement situation), the regulatory fit effect disappears. However, the effects of regulato ry nonfit on persuasion have been
95 ignored because past studies have not found significant differences between fit and nonfit conditions. To explain the effects of regulatory nonfit, this study expects that consumers seek information inconsistent with their goals in certain circumstances. In other words, people sometimes show high selectivity in the opposite direction from their attitude and beliefs (Fischer et al., 2008). Studies in selective exposure have noted that inconsistent information is more difficu lt to notice and process than consistent information (e.g., Fischer & Greitemeyer 201 0). Yet when people are motivated to process information, they are less likely to use their regulatory focus as a filter for two major reasons: (1) people want to appear as unbiased decision makers and (2) people can more easily detect inconsistent information than consistent information when information load is high (Yoon et al., 2012).. However, further investigations are needed to determine under which circumstances the regulatory nonfit effects are observed. Therefore, this study calls for further research examining involvement as a factor moderating the interaction between regulatory focus and advertising appeals. This study is also opened to the possibility that the p rediction of matching regulatory focus and the types of advertising appeals might be incorrect. Cue utilization theory suggests that products consist of intrinsic and extrinsic cues (Olson, 1978). Extrinsic cues are product related attributes that are not parts of the physical product, such as price, brand name, country of origin, and packaging (Richardson, Dick & Jain, 1994). In contrast, intrinsic cues are product related attributes that cannot be changed without altering psychical aspects of the
96 products such as design and ingredients (Richardson et al., 1994). Therefore, popularity of the products can be regarded as an extrinsic cue whereas distinctiveness of products can be considered an intrinsic cue. As people with a promotion focus are likely to eng age in prompt decision making and use more heuristic information processing (Higgins, 1997), promotion focused consumers would be more likely to use the extrinsic cue (i.e., popularity). Meanwhile, prevention focused consumers are more vigilant in decision making and consider security and safety (Higgins, 2000; Pham & Higgins, 2005); thus, they would be more likely to utilize the intrinsic cue (i.e., distinctiveness). If this is the case of the reversed findings, the distinctive advertising appeals match up with prevention focused consumers and the popularity advertising appeals with promotion focused consumers. Again, this proposition calls for further investigation. This study failed to find any significant differences between conditions on urchase intention. The insufficient results related to purchase intention can be attributed to data collection period. The week of data collection was held right after spring break, so the majority of the subjects had just returned from a vacation trip. Th eir willingness to take another trip might have been influenced even though they indicated positive attitudes toward the advertising and product. Contribution The present study contributes to the literature in regulatory focus on/fit with persuasion on sev eral fronts. First, the current research contributes to the regulatory focus/fit literature by demonstrating the nonfit effects on persuasion.
97 Significant attention from studies in regulatory fit has focused on the fit effects while the existence of nonfit effects has been ignored. This omission can be attributed to the negative consequences of nonfit between regulatory focus and persuasive messages. In addition, most regulatory fit studies have failed to find positive effects of nonfit conditions. The curr ent study demonstrated that nonfit certain circumstances; as such, the study increases understanding of how two distinct motivational states interact with mismatching messages by opening the new window of the regulatory nonfit effect. Second, this study extends message framing studies by examining how the two advertising appeals (distinctive and popularity appeals) pair with dvertising and product evaluations. Although several studies of regulatory focus on persuasion have adopted advertising contexts to examine the regulatory focus/fit effects (e.g., Lee & Aaker, 2004; Zhu & Meyers Levy, 2007), the studies utilized advertisin g messages emphasizing either promotion or prevention benefits of the products (e.g., promotion focused benefit: orange juice for energy creation, prevention focused benefit: orange juice for healthy cardiovascular function). However, no studies have exami ned when and to whom the two distinct appeals would be more effective. The current study was the first to investigate the two most a better understanding.
98 The findings of this study have practical implications for marketing communication practitioners in terms of the utilization of advertising appeals and efforts to target consumers. Marketing communicators try to approach their audience by relating product benefits to consumers demographics and lifestyles. However, the results of this study suggest that approach while matching the consumers and messages can be ineffective in certain c ircumstances. The results imply that advertising messages emphasizing popularity of the product can be more effective with promotion focused consumers, whereas messages highlighting the uniqueness of the product are appropriate for consumers with a prevent ion focus. However, managers need to be careful when implementing the results of this study without considering specific circumstances. As discussed earlier, several studies including the current one have proposed that people use their regulatory focus whe n information is processed in a spontaneous manner. The current study goes further, demonstrating that consumers might use the information provided instead of their regulatory focus, thereby underscoring the importance of deliberative processing (Briley & Aaker, 2006). advertising messages is not always recommended. Therefore, marketing communicators should consider various situational factors and characteristics of the product category, includ ing involvement, to achieve the marketing objectives. Marketing communicators need to know not only which messages align with a
99 particular target, but also when the advertising appeals will be most effective. Further research is still warranted to demonstr ate the boundary conditions for the regulatory nonfit effect; involvement also needs to be considered. In the next section, more directions for future research are discussed as well as the limitations of the present study. Limitations and Future Research T his study has several limitations to be acknowledged, and provides several avenues for future investigations of regulatory focus/fit and advertising appeals. Specifically, limitations in this study are related to methodological issues typically addressed i n studies utilizing an experimental design external validity and generalizability, and variables that are needed to be considered in the further regulatory focus/fit studies. Several limitations in this study are related to generalizability of the findin gs. First of all, limitations can be found in the demographics of the samples. The subjects in the present study were undergraduate college students in Florida in the United States. That is, even though using homogenous groups for experimental method helps to minimize the potential effects of undetected covariations, the use of specific group of subjects will limit the application of the research results to the general population ( Campbell & Stanley, 1963 ). Additionally, a dominant number of female subjects in this study reduced the generalizability of the findings of the study. Thus, further research should be conducted with a more representative population sample to have better understanding of the effects of regulatory focus and advertising appeals.
100 Th e usage of a fictitious brand/product in the experiment may raise limitations for the present study Even though t his study used a fictitious travel attitude s toward existing brands on the dependent variables c onsumers hold prior a ttitudes toward the brand/product, and use the prior attitudes for purchase decision making outside of the lab setting. Thus, the findings of this study might not be applicable to all existing brand s. This study only used a travel package to Europe as a target product. Thus, a possibility of confounding from using just one type of product category is laid in the study. For instance, products used for consumption purposes can be broadly categorized in to hedonic or utilitarian (Lim, Ching, & Ang, 2008). As consumption of hedonic products is characterized as sensory gratification and affective purpose, travel packages are regarded as being in the hedonic product category (Crowley, Spangenberg, & Hughes, 1992). Regarding the link between regulatory focus and two types of product categories, Chernev (2004) found that promotion focused people weigh more on hedonic attributes of products, whereas prevention focused people are relatively more weigh on utilitarian aspects of products. Therefore, having a product in the utilitarian product category (e.g., personal computers) may cause results that vary from this study. Additionally, some may argue that there is influence of differences between product c ategories on the interactions of regulatory focus and the types of advertising appeals. Particularly, examinations of various product categories would benefit researchers and practitioners considering the relationship between
101 owledge in the decision making process. Studies on consumer behavior have demonstrated an inverted U shape relationship between product knowledge and total amount of search because that knowledge facilitates the learning of new information and allows a mor e efficient search (Bettman & Park, 1980; Brucks, 1988 ). Thus, this study presumes that consumers have a higher involvement level for information searching when they have a moderate level of product knowledge. Additionally, as this study utilized an experi mental method, all subjects were forced to get involved in the purchasing situation with a fixed amount of resources and processing. However, the effects of product knowledge and the involvement were not hypothesized in this study. Lastly, the level of pro duct category knowledge may influence the effects of popularity appeals as well. Specifically, when consumers have a low level of product category knowledge the effect of popularity advertising appeals can be more effective than for the consumers with a h igh level of product category knowledge, because they make stronger relationships between the popularity and the quality of the brands ( Catti n J olibert, & Lohnes, 1982 ) For instance, if one does not have enough knowledge about travel package products, th e person will weigh the popularity claim ( extrinsic cue) more strongly and make a strong correlation between the quality and the popula rity (Elliott & Cameron, 1994 ). To address the limitations, therefore, future studies are needed to investigate how consu making moderate the interaction of regulatory focus and advertising appeals with various types of products and
102 including product knowledge as a moderator. Also, future research can utilize survey methods as well as incl uding involvement in decision making as an additional variable. Related to stimulus in this study, only print advertisements were made available to the subjects in the experiment However, as an increasing number of information sources become available to consumers (e.g., online reviews integrated marketing communications ), one medium or message will not solely making process Therefore, the further research may be interested in how fit between regulatory focus and advertising messages between or among messages across the media) This study was also limited in its scope in the use of one message feature distinctive/popularity appeals. However, the further research may be interested in other elements of advertisements such as tones, images, sources, and the quality of arguments. Thus, future studies are needed to examine the moderating effects of each element of advertisements on regulatory focus an d its effectiveness for persuasion. Conclusion Regulatory fit is an important phenomenon to understand the bridge between consumer behavior and their motivations. However, the work in regulatory fit is still in nascent stages, especially the regulatory fit effects on persuasion. This study tried to extend the understanding of regulatory fit theory in persuasion within an advertisement context by examining the interaction between regulatory focus and advertising appeals (distinctive and popularity advertisin g
103 appeals). This study expected that fits between regulatory focus and advertising appeals (i.e., promotion focus distinctive advertising appeal, prevention focus popularity advertising appeal) would elicit more favorable attitudes toward advertising, prod uct, and purchase intention than nonfit conditions (i.e., promotion focus popularity advertising appeal, prevention focus and distinctive advertising appeal). Unexpectedly, however, the results of this study showed the reversed regulatory fit effects. Thi involvement level, due to the artificial experimental setting, as well as the supported by previous regulatory focus/fi t studies that examined the influence of involvement in decision making on the regulatory fit effects. Although this study addresses that regulatory nonfit effect is observed under certain circumstances, and expects that level of involvement in decision ma king process can be a factor for the effect, the possibility remains that other factors may influence outcomes as well, and thereby merit further attention.
104 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT FORM Informed Consent Protocol Title: Effects of Goal Compatibility: Matching Consumer Motivations and Advertising Appeals Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: To determine the effect of travel advertising appeals on advertising. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be asked to read a written scenario inviting you to imagine planning a trip, and will be exposed to an advertisement. Then, you will be asked several questions about the ad and its message. Time required : The study will take no more than 20 minutes to complete. Risks and Benefits : We do not anticipate there will be any risks or direct benefits to you as a consequence of your decision to complete the survey. Compensation : Participants will receive no compensation. There is a possibility of receiving extra credit from the instructor of the course you were recruited. Extra credit for participation will not be greater than the equivalent of 2% of the student's overall grade in the course Confid entiality names will be used in any part of the study. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Voluntary participation : Your participation in this study is e ntirely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. You can choose not to answer any question you do not wish to answer. You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. If you do not choose this research participatio n, your class instructor will give you another option for equal extra credit. Volunteers are encouraged to participate only once. If you have already participated in this study for another class, your class instructor has agreed to give you an alternate op tion for equivalent extra credit. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Principle Investigator : Doori Song Ph.D. Candidate College of Journalism and Communications 2034 Weimer songdoori@ ufl edu Supervisor : Cynthia Morton Ph.D., Associate Professo r Department of Advertising 208 2 Weimer Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611 8400 USA. Tel: (352) 392 8841 cmorton @jou.ufl.edu
105 Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study : UFIRB Office IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; phone 392 0433 Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Participant: __________________________ _________ Date: _________________ Prin cipal Investigator: ____________________________ Date: _________________
106 APPENDIX B REGULATORY FOCUS MANIPULATION Promotion Focus
107 Prevention Focus
108 APPENDIX C EXPERIMENTAL STIMULI Distinctive advertising appeal
109 Popularity advertising appeal
110 APPENDIX D QUESTIONNAIRE SECTION 1 Q. Using the scale below, please indicate your agreement or disagreement with the most closely reflects you on each statement. Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly a gree ____1. When it comes to achieving things that are important to me, I find that I perform as well as I would ideally like to. ____2. I feel like I have made progress toward being successful in my life. ____3. When I see an opportunity for something I like, I get excited right away. ____4. I frequently imagine how I will achieve my hopes and aspirations. ____5. to fulfill my hopes, wishes, and aspirations. ____6. I usually obeyed rules and regulations that were established by my parents. ____7. Not being careful enough has gotten me into trouble at times. ____8. I worry about making mistakes. ____9. I frequently think about how I can prevent failures in my life.
111 ____10. I see myself as someone who is primarily striving to become the self I fulfill my duties, responsibilities, and obligations. Q. We would like to know about your general interests in traveling in Europe SECTION 2 [Promotion focus conditions] Imagine that you and your close friends are planning a trip for the summer. You and your friends want to create a lot of good memories during the trip. You have discussed the destination and decided to travel to Europe. Today, you found an article about summer travel abroad from the US Tourism Association. The article provides useful tips for an enjoyable/fun trip to Europe. Please read the article on the next page very carefully. Q. Which of the things mentioned in the article would you actively pursue ? Please be specific; how likely are you to take the tips? Irrelevant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Relevant Undesirable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Desirable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Matters to me Uninterested 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Interested Boring 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Interesting Not involved 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Highly involved Unexciting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Exciting
112 Q. What aspect is more important for you to do right now ? Something I ought to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Something I want to [Prevention focus conditions] Imagine that you and your family are planning a trip for the summer. You and your family want to create a lot of good memories during the trip. You have discussed the destination and decided to travel to Europe. Today, you found an article about summer travel abroad from the US Tourism A ssociation. The article provides useful tips for a safe trip to Europe. Please read the article on the next page very carefully. Q. Which of the things mentioned in the article would you actively avoid ? Please be specific; how likely are you to take the t ips? Q. What aspect is more important for you to do right now ? Something I ought to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Something I want to SECTION 3 Now, please read on the next page The questions about the advertisement will follow. Please see the advertisement carefully. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Exposure to distinctive or popularity advertising appeals ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
113 Q. Please indicate how you feel about that you just saw by selecting one of each bipolar adjective pair. Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like Irritating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not irritating Uninteresting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Interesting Q. Based on your awareness of to what extent would you consider a purchase? Unlikely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Likely Improbable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Probable Uncertain 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Certain Definitely Not 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Definitely Q. Please indicate how you feel about Small Group Tours Package by selecting one of each bipolar adjective pair. Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like Unfavorable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Favorable Negative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Positive
114 Q. Please indicate your perception of Not an industry leader 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Industry leader Not at all popular 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very popular Not widely accepted 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Widely accepted Few like it 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Many like it Q. Please indicate your perception of Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly agree ____1. The advertised package tours. ____2. The advertised are very different from other travel package tours. ____3. Compared to other travel package tours, the advertised Trav group tours For statistical purposes, we would like you to provide us with some demographic information: AGE: ___________years SEX: ________female __________male MAJOR: ___________________ YEAR IN COLLEGE: (1) Freshman (2) Sophomore (3) Junior (4) Senior (5) Graduate (6) Other ________
115 ETHNICITY: 1) American Indian or Alaska native 2) African American 3) Asian 4) Caucasian 5) Hispanic or Latino 6) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 7) Other ________________ Thank you so much for your participation.
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127 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Doori Song earned dual bachelor of arts degrees in business administration and mass communications from Dankook University (Seoul, South Korea). After completing his master of arts in advertising from Michigan State University, he joined the Ph.D. program at the University of Florida in 2009. During his four years in the Ph.D. program at the University of Florida, he received the UF Alumni Fellowship from the College of Journalism and Communications and taught advertising research and advertising strategy courses as an instructor of record. The topics of his academic works included consumer psychology and marketing communication related to interactive media. He met his wife, Namkyung Yeun, during an undergraduate marketing research class. Today, they live with their two lovely daughters, Jiwoo and Yeonwoo. Doori Song recently accepted a position as an assistant prof essor of marketing at the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University.