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Loss Aversion and Regulatory Focus Effects in the Absence of Numbers: Qualitatively Framing Equivalent Messages on Food Labels
Unformatted Document Text:  QUALITATIVELY FRAMING EQUIVALENT MESSAGES ON FOOD LABELS nonloss or gain claims. Subjects exposed to gain or nonloss claims had more positive attitudes towards the product with the claims than those exposed to neutral, general product claims, but this was more likely an effect of the treatment conditions’ use of production claims than the frames themselves. The second hypothesis predicted that when controlling for regulatory focus, subjects exposed to nonloss-framed claims will have less positive attitudes toward the product without production claims than those exposed to gain-framed labeling claims or control group claims. This hypothesis was partially supported. Subjects exposed to gain claims did not differ from those exposed to nonloss claims in their attitudes toward the product without the claims. Subjects exposed to gain or nonloss claims had less positive attitudes towards the product without the claims than those exposed to neutral, general product claims. Again, this was likely because of the production claims subjects were exposed to in the treatment conditions rather than the framing. Discussion Previous loss aversion research consistently showed that people have stronger reactions to information presented as potential losses/nonlosses in comparison to equivalent potential gains/nongains (Boettcher, 2004; Kahneman & Tversky, 1979; McDermott, 2004; Tversky & Kahneman, 1981). Conversely, a few other studies suggested that gains garner a stronger reaction than nonlosses (Idson et al., 2000; Idson et al., 2004; Liberman et al., 2005). The present study did not find loss/gain asymmetry in support of either prediction. Whether subjects were exposed to gain-framed production claims or nonloss claims did not matter; their attitudes toward the products were affected similarly. This could be because the application of the message/information was directly connected with an ordinary market good:

Authors: Abrams, Katie.
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nonloss or gain claims. Subjects exposed to gain or nonloss claims had more positive attitudes 
towards the product with the claims than those exposed to neutral, general product claims, but 
this was more likely an effect of the treatment conditions’ use of production claims than the 
frames themselves.
The second hypothesis predicted that when controlling for regulatory focus, subjects 
exposed to nonloss-framed claims will have less positive attitudes toward the product without 
production claims than those exposed to gain-framed labeling claims or control group claims. 
This hypothesis was partially supported. Subjects exposed to gain claims did not differ from 
those exposed to nonloss claims in their attitudes toward the product without the claims. Subjects 
exposed to gain or nonloss claims had less positive attitudes towards the product without the 
claims than those exposed to neutral, general product claims. Again, this was likely because of 
the production claims subjects were exposed to in the treatment conditions rather than the 
Previous loss aversion research consistently showed that people have stronger reactions to 
information presented as potential losses/nonlosses in comparison to equivalent potential 
gains/nongains (Boettcher, 2004; Kahneman & Tversky, 1979; McDermott, 2004; Tversky & 
Kahneman, 1981). Conversely, a few other studies suggested that gains garner a stronger 
reaction than nonlosses (Idson et al., 2000; Idson et al., 2004; Liberman et al., 2005). 
The present study did not find loss/gain asymmetry in support of either prediction. 
Whether subjects were exposed to gain-framed production claims or nonloss claims did not 
matter; their attitudes toward the products were affected similarly. This could be because the 
application of the message/information was directly connected with an ordinary market good: 

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