Attentional Contrast During Sequential Judgments: a Source of the Number-Of-Levels Effect

Els De Wilde, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Alan Cooke, University of Florida, U.S.A.
Chris Janiszewski, University of Florida, U.S.A.
As the number of intervening attribute levels increases, the derived importance weight of an attribute increases. In three studies, we show that attentional processes contribute to this number-of-levels effect. When there is inequality in the number of attribute levels across attributes, any given profile will include levels of one attribute that are relatively more novel than levels of the accompanying attributes. A process of attentional contrast directs attention toward the relatively novel attribute levels within each profile. Increased attention to the relatively novel attribute levels results in a larger derived importance weight for the attributes defined on those levels.
[ to cite ]:
Els De Wilde, Alan Cooke, and Chris Janiszewski (2008) ,"Attentional Contrast During Sequential Judgments: a Source of the Number-Of-Levels Effect", in LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Claudia R. Acevedo, Jose Mauro C. Hernandez, and Tina M. Lowrey, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 161-162.