Title page for ETD etd-03282007-155556

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Krishen, Anjala Selena
Author's Email Address anjala@vt.edu
URN etd-03282007-155556
Title When Comparison Becomes Contrast: Choice in an Oppositional Framework
Degree PhD
Department Marketing
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Nakamoto, Kent Committee Chair
Brinberg, David L. Committee Member
Herr, Paul M. Committee Member
Klein, Noreen M. Committee Member
  • information processing
  • opposition
  • dichotomy
  • decision making
  • choice
  • information overload
  • consumer behavior
Date of Defense 2007-03-19
Availability unrestricted
In this dissertation, I propose that there are multiple factors, such as the education process and the consumption environment, which work to simultaneously create an opposition framework. People are constantly exposed to rival products, which are positioned to be opposites even when they are often extremely similar in chemical content and physical appearance. Thus, the implications of the recency-frequency model of activation (Higgins, Bargh and Lombardi 1985) would be that these proximal factors could, in some sense, prime dichotomous thinking. Dichotomous or oppositional thinking, as it is defined in this dissertation, pertains to the flattening of dimensions present in a choice set such that the items can be graphically depicted at two ends of one dimension (see Figure 2 and Figure 3). I will first explore the impact of a dichotomous mindset on making a decision and then expand to the realm of opposition in choice set structures.
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