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Age Differences in Consumers' Processing Strategies: An Investigation of Moderating Influences

Carolyn Yoon

Journal of Consumer Research, 1997, vol. 24, issue 3, 329-42

Abstract: Relative to younger adults, older adults appear to exhibit greater use of schema-based, as opposed to detailed, processing strategies. This relationship is investigated in an experimental study that examines the moderating influences of two marketing-relevant variables, incongruity of message items and optimal time of day. Signal detection analysis performed on recognition measures serves as basis for assessing strategy use. Both older and younger adults, during their optimal times of day (morning and evening respectively) engage in detailed processing, but this tendency is particularly pronounced for the elderly when exposed to high-incongruity cues. By contrast, during their nonoptimal time of day, older adults seem to rely on schema-based processing regardless of the level of incongruity, whereas younger adults remain relatively detailed in their processing strategies. Theoretical and practical implications for marketing are discussed. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

Date: 1997
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