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Inferential judgment: the effects of construal level and product offer type
thesisposted on 06.02.2017, 02:28 by Ng, Jia Yun
This research was conducted to investigate the effects of construal level and psychological distance on the evaluation of product offers. Extending the findings of prior research work on construal level, psychological distance and product offers, this research argues that for unrelated product offers, inferences made using an abstract construal are more positive than concrete construal, resulting in overall product evaluations of a product with an unrelated product offer that are more positive in abstract than in concrete construal level conditions. In contrast, related product offers are likely to induce minimal levels of inferencing and hence will only display minimal impacts of construal level on the evaluation; thus, the overall evaluation of a product with a related product offer in abstract and concrete construal level is likely to be similar. The research expects the same argument in construal level to hold for psychological distance effects on product evaluation. The research examines two main arguments using a total of seven experiments. First, it is shown that the overall product evaluation depends on the type of construal level (psychological distance) and the type of product offers (i.e., related or unrelated product offer). Next, the research introduces a mediator, inferential judgment, to these effects by showing inferential judgment as a mediator to the effect of construal level on overall product evaluation for unrelated product offers but not for related product offers. The research finally presents and tests a conceptual framework by showing inferential judgment as a mediator to the effects of construal level on overall product evaluation, with the presence of this mediated relationship depending on the product offer type. The findings of this study provide a new understanding of how construal level and psychological distance affect consumers’ evaluation of related and unrelated product offers. This insight is valuable to marketers in shaping effective cross-promotion campaigns that involve unrelated or related product offers by demonstrating that unrelated product offers are likely to be positively evaluated by encouraging consumers to think abstractly rather than concretely; however, for related product offers, construal level has less of an effect.