From bye to buy: Homophones as a phonological route to priming

Derick Davis, Paul M. Herr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Words prime semantic and conceptually related associates and concepts. This article documents a novel route of priming disparate meanings relevant to consumer behaviors. Reading processes use word sound, not spelling, to activate word meaning in memory. Reading a homophone (e.g., "bye")-a word with identical pronunciation as another word but with different spelling and meaning-activates meanings and concepts related to the complementary homophone (e.g., "buy"). Homophone priming occurs when a secondary process fails to suppress activated meanings associated with the complementary homophone, which may influence meaning-relevant consumer behaviors downstream. Two experiments (with replications) demonstrate this effect occurs when consumers experience diminished cognitive resources, which reduces the ability to suppress complementary homophone meanings. This research identifies word sound as an associative link between otherwise unrelated concepts that can result in priming of judgments and behavior. Importantly, these results are difficult to predict from a purely semantic or associative priming perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1077
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Fingerprint

consumption behavior
semantics
Homophones
Route
Priming
experiment
ability
resources
experience
Spelling
Sound
Consumer Behaviour
Consumer behaviour
Replication
Associates
Semantic Primes
Associative
Word Meaning
Cognitive Resources
Process of Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

From bye to buy : Homophones as a phonological route to priming. / Davis, Derick; Herr, Paul M.

In: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 40, No. 6, 04.2014, p. 1063-1077.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Davis, Derick ; Herr, Paul M. / From bye to buy : Homophones as a phonological route to priming. In: Journal of Consumer Research. 2014 ; Vol. 40, No. 6. pp. 1063-1077.
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