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Making it ‘click’: an investigation of fluency effects on scarcity based persuasive messaging and the moderating role of involvement

Gend, Joris van (2018) Making it ‘click’: an investigation of fluency effects on scarcity based persuasive messaging and the moderating role of involvement.

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Abstract:Scarcity is a means of persuasion that sees regular usage both by practitioners of marketing and researchers alike. It is often encountered as either a textual warning of a small supply, or observed from nearly empty shelves in stores. This study hypothesized that a fluency effect would occur when those two forms of scarcity would be combined in a way that made them congruent. In turn this fluency effect, combined with the persuasive element of the scarcity cue, would result in higher perceptions of price and value, a more positive attitude towards the product and a stronger buying intention. The level of involvement and the processing style of the participant, the latter of which was represented by the processing depth and the processing time, were expected to moderate this interaction. To test this thesis an online experiment that simulated a wine store visit was created. In it three parts were manipulated, being the scenario that provided a motivation for the store visit and thus served as the manipulation of involvement, texts indicating the store’s level of supply and imagery of product shelving which visually signalled the level of supply. The design was a 2 (scarce and abundant) * 2 (high and low level of fluency) * 2 (high and low level of involvement) between-subjects design containing eight cells to which participants were randomly assigned. Three key findings emerge from this study. Firstly, we found that the combination of two congruent scarcity cues did indeed lead to a fluency effect that positively affected the attitude towards the product. Secondly, a high level of involvement positively and strongly affected the price perceptions and value perceptions. Thirdly, the level of involvement did moderate the effects of scarcity and fluency on the dependent variables but was not in turn moderated by the processing depth and the processing time.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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