More Similar but Less Satisfying: Comparing Preferences for and the Efficacy of Within- and Cross-Category Substitutes for Food

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When people cannot get what they want, they often satisfy their desire by consuming a substitute. Substitutes can originate from within the taxonomic category of the desired stimulus (i.e., within-category substitutes) or from a different taxonomic category that serves the same basic goal (i.e., cross-category substitutes). Both a store-brand chocolate (within-category substitute) and a granola bar (cross-category substitute), for example, can serve as substitutes for gourmet chocolate. Here, we found that people believe that within-category substitutes, which are more similar to desired stimuli, will more effectively satisfy their cravings than will cross-category substitutes (Experiments 1, 2a, and 2b). However, because within-category substitutes are more similar than cross-category substitutes to desired stimuli, they are more likely to evoke an unanticipated negative contrast effect. As a result, unless substitutes are equivalent in quality to the desired stimulus, cross-category substitutes more effectively satisfy cravings for the desired stimulus (Experiments 3 and 4).
Publisher
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
Issue Date
2016-06
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

GOAL-DERIVED CATEGORIES; CONTRAST; ASSIMILATION; PRODUCT

Citation

PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, v.27, no.6, pp.894 - 903

ISSN
0956-7976
DOI
10.1177/0956797616640705
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/226050
Appears in Collection
MG-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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