Friday, July 31, 2015

Individual Differences in Marketing Placebo Effects: Evidence from Brain Imaging and Behavioral Experiments

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Journal of Marketing Research 52, 4 (2015) 493-510

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 individual differences in “marketing placebo effects” (MPE). In this paper, we suggest three moderators of the effect marketing-based expectancies have on the behavioral and neural measures of the consumption experience based on previous findings from the neuroscientific literature investigating traditional clinical pain placebo effects. We used a novel automated structural brain imaging approach to determine individual differences and combined this approach with traditional behavioral experiments. We found that consumers high in reward-seeking, high in need for cognition, and low in somatosensory awareness are more responsive to MPE.