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Imagining Yourself in the Scene: The Interactive Effects of Goal-Driven Self-Imagery and Visual Perspectives on Consumer Behavior

Yuwei Jiang, Rashmi Adaval, Yael Steinhart and Robert S. Wyer

Journal of Consumer Research, 2014, vol. 41, issue 2, 418 - 435

Abstract: Consumers often imagine themselves in a scene and engage in such self-imagery while processing information. The goals that they have when they engage in such imagery (e.g., a goal to construct a story of the experience vs. a goal to acquire information) can influence how the mental images they generate affect judgments. When pictures from very different perspectives are provided, those trying to imagine themselves in the scene in order to create a story of the experience have to shift visual perspectives in order to imagine the entire experience. This shift in visual perspective can increase processing difficulty and decrease evaluations of the product or service being described. When individuals are simply imagining themselves acquiring information about the product or service, however, presenting information from different perspectives has a positive impact on evaluations. Four experiments confirmed these effects and the assumptions underlying their conceptualization.

Date: 2014
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