Next to a star: Paling, shining or both? Turning inter-exemplar contrast into inter-exemplar assimilation
Michaela Wänke (),
Herbert Bless () and
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Michaela Wänke: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
Herbert Bless: Mikrosoziologie und Sozialpsychologie Universität Mannheim, Postal: Seminargebäude A 5 D-68131 Mannheim
Eric Igou: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
No 98-54, Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim
Three studies investigated how an extremely positive exemplar (star) influences the evaluation of more moderate exemplars. In Study 1, which was set in the political domain, a star elicited contrast in the evaluation of other, more moderate exemplars. However, the contrast effect was eliminated when the shared category membership of the star and the respective exemplar was made salient. Study 2 replicated the results of reduced contrast effects after the activation of a shared category membership in the marketing context. Moreover, the star caused a differentiation between two models otherwise evaluated as equal because the same-brand model was assimilated and the competitor-brand model was contrasted to the star. Study 3 provided evidence that inter-exemplar contrast and inter-exemplar assimilation work in parallel rather than in alternetively.
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Note: The reported research was supported by grant from the Sonderforschungsbereich 504, L 13,15 D-68131 Mannheim and by grant Bl 289/5-2 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to H. Bless, N. Schwarz & M. Wänke
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