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Effectiveness of Consensus Information in Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  11 mean purchase ratings of the advertised product without consensus cues was not significantly different from the combined means of participants’ purchase rating of the product advertised in the other two consensus ads, p = .43, M no consensus = 4.17, SD = .30, M college peer = 3.65, SD = .30, M general = 4.06, SD = .30. The differences between the general public consensus ad and the college peer consensus ad was not significant either, p = .36. Therefore, hypothesis 1 was fully supported. Discussions The findings of experiment one indicate that female participants favor ad messages featuring consensus information in addition to product attribute information over ad messages only containing product attributes. It seems that, for female participants, consensus information is more diagnostic in their decision-making than it is for male participants. It is important to note that the main effect of consensus cues was not significant. If important individual differences were not identified, wrong conclusions might be reached – namely, arguing that consensus information does not exert influence on consumers' purchase decisions. In general, findings of experiment one suggest that individual differences are important contingent variables to be considered when investigating the effectiveness of consensus information. Past research has not specifically explored the relative effectiveness of consensus information when the majority viewpoint is derived from the general consumers as opposed to the peer groups with which consumers identify themselves to a higher degree. The present findings suggest that the different sources of consensus information did not generate different impact for both female and male participants. These findings seem to better support the idea that the consensus information works for female participants via information influence rather than through some sort of identification or compliance mechanism. If consensus information triggers the identification or compliance processes, then consensus concerning peer college

Authors: Chang, Chingching.
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11
mean purchase ratings of the advertised product without consensus cues was not significantly
different from the combined means of participants’ purchase rating of the product advertised in
the other two consensus ads, p = .43, M
no consensus
= 4.17, SD = .30, M
college peer
= 3.65, SD = .30,
M
general
= 4.06, SD = .30.
The differences between the general public consensus ad and the
college peer consensus ad was not significant either, p = .36.
Therefore, hypothesis 1 was fully
supported.
Discussions
The findings of experiment one indicate that female participants favor ad messages
featuring consensus information in addition to product attribute information over ad messages
only containing product attributes. It seems that, for female participants, consensus information
is more diagnostic in their decision-making than it is for male participants. It is important to
note that the main effect of consensus cues was not significant. If important individual
differences were not identified, wrong conclusions might be reached – namely, arguing that
consensus information does not exert influence on consumers' purchase decisions. In general,
findings of experiment one suggest that individual differences are important contingent variables
to be considered when investigating the effectiveness of consensus information.
Past research has not specifically explored the relative effectiveness of consensus
information when the majority viewpoint is derived from the general consumers as opposed to
the peer groups with which consumers identify themselves to a higher degree. The present
findings suggest that the different sources of consensus information did not generate different
impact for both female and male participants. These findings seem to better support the idea
that the consensus information works for female participants via information influence rather
than through some sort of identification or compliance mechanism. If consensus information
triggers the identification or compliance processes, then consensus concerning peer college


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