Product entitativity: How the presence of product replicates increases perceived and actual product efficacy

Noah Vanbergen, Caglar Irmak, Julio Sevilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many studies document the benefits of presenting smaller quantities of products, particularly when differences in quantity relate to availability or popularity. However, we know less about the effects of quantity differences in contexts unrelated to scarcity, such as when products are depicted in ads, special displays, or online retailing settings. The present research builds on extant literature by investigating a previously unexplored question: How do product perceptions differ depending on whether consumers view a single unit in isolation, versus as one unit among identical product replicates? Five experiments demonstrate that presenting multiple product replicates as a group (vs. presenting a single item) increases product efficacy perceptions because it leads consumers to perceive products as more homogeneous and unified around a shared goal. That is, consumers perceive greater product entitativity when viewing a group of product replicates. As a result, the perceived and actual ability of products to deliver that function (i.e., product efficacy) increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-214
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Entitativity
  • Perceived efficacy
  • Product quantity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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