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The Presenter's Paradox Revisited: An Evaluation Mode Account

Tobias Krüger, André Mata and Max Ihmels

Journal of Consumer Research, 2014, vol. 41, issue 4, 1127-1136

Abstract: Three experimental studies demonstrate that evaluation mode influences the assessment of product bundles. Consumers' preferences for product bundles are more pronounced in a joint evaluation mode, where the bundle is directly contrasted to its single counterpart (i.e., the bundle without its add-on), than in a separate evaluation mode, where the bundle is evaluated in isolation. An attentional explanation is suggested: consumers pay more attention to the unique features of a product bundle (i.e., the add-on) and, therefore, prefer the bundle more strongly in joint rather than in separate evaluation. This account bears relevance for Weaver, Garcia, and Schwarz's presenter's paradox, according to which presenters (i.e., people deciding what to offer to others) prefer bundle options, whereas evaluators (i.e., people deciding what to get for themselves) prefer single options. In the original research, presenters and evaluators provided judgments in joint and separate evaluation, respectively. Disentangling role (presenter vs. evaluator) and evaluation mode, our results show that, independent of role, people prefer bundle over single options in joint evaluations and are largely indifferent in separate evaluations. Thus, a substantial part of the original findings is attributable to evaluation mode. The presenter's paradox is revised in light of the current account.

Date: 2014
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