Stephen Nowlis

Stephen Nowlis
Washington University in St. Louis | WUSTL , Wash U

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33
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Consumers often need to decide if they want to reengage a goal, such as a goal of losing weight, a goal of saving money, or a goal of performing well on a video game. This research finds that consumers are more likely to reengage a goal when they have set a high-low range goal (e.g., lose 2–4 pounds this week) than when they have set a single numbe...
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The current research explores how shelf display organization and limited product quantity together influence consumer purchase. The authors find that, in certain cases, shelves that are disorganized and not fully stocked tend to reduce sales, but in other cases, disorganized shelves that are not fully stocked tend to increase sales. In particular,...
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We present an evolutionary framework for examining the influence of different positive emotions on cognition and behavior. Testing this framework, we investigate how two positive emotions-pride and contentment-influence product desirability. Three experiments show that different positive emotions (compared with a neutral control condition) have spe...
Article
Consumers often resolve trade-offs in a particular order. For example, when making flavor and size decisions, consumers might first decide which flavors to choose and then decide which sizes of those flavors to choose. This research examines the effect of decision order on purchase quantity decisions. The authors build on prior work on decision dif...
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To properly consider the opportunity costs of a purchase, consumers must actively generate the alternatives that it would displace. The current research suggests that consumers often fail to do so. Even under conditions promoting cognitive effort, various cues to consider opportunity costs reduce purchase rates and increase the choice share of more...
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This research examines the moderating role of attempted dietary restraint on the amount of food consumed from small food in small packages versus large food in large packages. Four experiments demonstrate that restrained eaters consume more calories from small food in small packages, while unrestrained eaters consume more calories from large food i...
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In this research, the authors show that sampling a consumption cue (e.g., a flavored beverage) that is high in incentive value (i.e., tastes good) not only enhances subsequent consumption of other similar consumption cues (e.g., Pepsi) but also prompts people to seek anything rewarding (e.g., chocolate, a massage). The authors propose that this phe...
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Does predicting the outcome of an uncertain event enhance the enjoyment of observing that event? The current popularity of office pools, spoiler message boards, and online betting Web sites seems to suggest that the act of prediction increases enjoyment. However, in a series of four experiments, we find that consumers who make predictions about unc...
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Most of the articles appearing in JCR that are characterized as behavioral decision theory (BDT) address some kind of bias or deviation from normative decision making. In addition to pointing out biases, these articles often examine underlying decision processes. We leverage approaches that researchers have used to understand process for insights i...
Article
Sampling programs are a significant element of the promotions mix, particularly in the food category. In this research, the authors find that the degree to which consumers are distracted while sampling a product can influence the effectiveness of such programs. In particular, the authors find that distraction actually increases subsequent choice of...
Article
This research examines the effect of distractions while sampling a food item on the subsequent choice of that item. Drawing upon research on pain, we present a two-component model, which predicts that distraction may decrease subsequent choices for the sampled item. The model asserts that the ultimate pleasure arising from the taste of a food sampl...
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A consumer choosing a product must often wait before consuming it. In this article, we consider the consequences of waiting on consumption enjoyment. We propose that the effect of a delay on consumption enjoyment depends on both the negative utility of the wait itself and on the positive utility of anticipating a pleasant consumption experience. Th...
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This article extends research on evaluation differences in response modes to situations in which the no-choice option is available. Prior research on choice deferral has presented the no-choice option as just another response option (i.e., an unconditional brand-choice response mode), which has its primary focus on the selection decision. However,...
Article
Many consumers purchase products in stores, where they can physically examine and touch the items. In addition, consumers shop for products online or through direct mail, where they cannot physically examine and touch the merchandise. Building on an analysis of perceptual mechanisms involved in the sense of touch, we find that products with primari...
Article
Brands are promoted in many different ways. In this research, the authors examine synergies between different types of promotions and characteristics of the brands that offer the promotions. Specifically, the authors examine Interactions among feature advertising, display, price promotions, and the price-quality tier of the brand offering them. Usi...
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This article examines how the exclusion of a neutral or fence-sitting option changes an expressed attitude or preference judgment. Over a series of six studies, we find that the exclusion of a neutral response option (1) affects the judgment of extreme options (strong positive and negative features) more significantly than the judgment of options t...
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Although the consumer research field has made great progress over the past 30 years with respect to the scope, quality, and quantity of research, there are still significant disagreements about what consumer research is, what its objectives are, and how it should differ from related disciplines. As a result, the field appears to be rather fragmente...
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Although brand switching is one of the most researched topics in marketing, we still know very little about the moderators of switching between brands in different price-quality tiers (e.g., from Häagen–Dazs ice cream to Breyers or to a store brand). Building on the notion that buyers have a (category-specific) consideration set of price–quality ti...
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In many situations, consumers do not have either a positive or negative attitude, and thus express a neutral response. It is hypothesized that a neutral response on a bipolar scale is caused by either (1) indifference, which is a truly neutral response, or (2) ambivalence, which is a consequence of conflict. When consumers are experiencing ambivale...
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Several studies have shown that consumer choice is often influenced by the context or the set of alternatives under consideration. Context effects have largely been explained in terms of constructive preferences that are consistent with 2 theoretical accounts—effort minimization and perceptual contrast—that emphasize different underlying motivation...
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This research investigates the interaction effect of a very common task, explaining decisions, and an individual difference, need for uniqueness (NFU), on buyer decision-making. We propose that explaining (or providing reasons for) decisions shifts the focus from the choice options to the choice of reasons. Furthermore, buyers who explain their dec...
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Consumers frequently compare alternatives to make similarity and preference judgments. Recent research suggests that the construction of both similarity and preference judgments can be captured by a feature-matching model that allows for shifts in the relative weights assigned to the various features of the alternatives being compared. An implicati...
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This article investigates the effect of time pressure on choice deferral. Recent research suggests that the likelihood of deferral is contingent on the ease of making the selection decision (which option to choose) as well as the overall attractiveness of the selected alternative. We focus on how time pressure systematically impacts choice deferral...
Article
The authors propose that consumers' preferences are systematically affected by whether they make direct comparisons between brands (e.g., a choice task) or evaluate brands individually (e.g., purchase likelihood ratings). In particular, "comparable" attributes, which produce precise and easy-to-compute comparisons (e.g., price), tend to be relative...
Article
The authors propose that consumers’ preferences are systematically affected by whether they make direct comparisons between brands (e.g., a choice task) or evaluate brands individually (e.g., purchase likelihood ratings). In particular, “comparable” attributes, which produce precise and easy-to-compute comparisons (e.g., price), tend to be relative...
Article
Companies often introduce new product features to differentiate their brands and gain a competitive advantage, The authors investigate factors that moderate the impact of a new feature on brand choice, Building on two principles, multiattribute diminishing sensitivity and performance uncertainty, they propose that the characteristics of the product...
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Companies often introduce new product features to differentiate their brands and gain a competitive advantage. The authors investigate factors that moderate the impact of a new feature on brand choice. Building on two principles, multiattribute diminishing sensitivity and performance uncertainty, they propose that the characteristics of the product...
Article
Consumers often make purchase decisions while under time pressure. This research examines the effect of time constraints on the choice of brands that differ in perceived quality, price, and product features. Specifically, when making choices under time pressure, consumers were found to be more likely to choose higher-quality brands over lower-quali...
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A set of alternatives under consideration is often divided into subsets (or local sets) by some external (e.g., product display format at the store) or internal (e.g., a decision rule) factor. We propose that the manner in which a global set of alternatives varying in price and quality is divided into local sets can have a systematic effect on cons...
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Consumers are often exposed to the arguments used by other consumers for supporting or rejecting particular alternatives, through word-of-mouth, testimonial ads, or other means. We propose that a reason for preferring a particular alternative that is irrelevant to the consumer receiving the communication tends to decrease the alternative's choice p...