Read the working paper
Much recent research has studied whether marketing-based expectancies such as price and brand quality beliefs influence the consumption experience and subsequent behavior, but almost no research has examined the psychological processes required for such “marketing placebo effects” (MPE) to occur. In this paper, we suggest three mechanisms that precede the effect marketing-based expectancies have on the behavioral and neural measures of the consumption experience. These are individual differences in (1) reward seeking, (2) top-down emotional appraisal, and (3) bottom-up somatosensory introspection. We used a novel brain imaging approach to determine these individual differences and combined this approach with traditional behavioral experiments. Understanding the underpinnings of MPE is important for marketing researchers, public policy makers, and practitioners alike.