Marketing Letters

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 369–380 | Cite as

Price or quality? The influence of fluency on the dual role of price

  • Chia-Jung Chang


Despite extensive pricing research focusing on price information processing, the importance of the role of fluency on price-perceived quality and monetary sacrifice remains unclear. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that consumers with high retrieval and processing fluency are more likely to evaluate price according to its implications for perceived quality and less likely to focus on price-perceived monetary sacrifice. By contrast, consumers with low retrieval and processing fluency are more likely to evaluate price according to its implications for monetary sacrifice and less likely to focus on price-perceived quality. Besides, study 2 further demonstrates the influence of fluency on purchase intention. Finally, the mediating role of the incidental affect induced by fluency in the theoretical link between fluency and price perceptions is also demonstrated.


Processing fluency Retrieval fluency Perceived quality Perceived monetary sacrifice Incidental affect 


  1. Alter, A. L., Oppenheimer, D. M., Epley, N., & Eyre, R. N. (2007). Overcoming intuition: Metacognitive difficulty activates analytic reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136(4), 569–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical consideration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bless, H., Clore, G. L., Schwarz, N., Golisano, V., Rabe, C., & Wolk, M. (1996). Mood and the use of scripts: Does a happy mood really lead to mindlessness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(4), 665–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bornemann, T., & Homburg, C. (2011). Psychological distance and the dual role of price. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(3), 490–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Innes-Ker, A., & Niedenthal, P. M. (2002). Emotion concepts and emotional states in social judgment and categorization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(4), 804–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Labroo, A., & Patrick, V. M. (2009). Psychological distancing: Why happiness helps you see the big picture. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(5), 391–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Novemsky, N., Dhar, R., Schwarz, N., & Simonson, I. (2007). Preference fluency in choice. Journal of Marketing Research, 44(3), 347–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Reber, R., Winkielman, P., & Schwarz, N. (1998). Effects of perceptual fluency on affective judgments. Psychological Science, 9(1), 45–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Reber, R., Schwarz, N., & Winkielman, P. (2004). Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: Is beauty in the perceiver’s processing experience. Personality & Social Psychology Review, 8(4), 364–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Schwarz, N. (2010). Feelings-as-information theory. In P. Van Lange, A. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Schwarz, N., & Clore, G. L. (1983). Mood, misattribution, and judgments of well-being: Informative and directive functions of affective states. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(3), 512–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Shen, H., Jian, Y., & Adaval, R. (2010). Contrast and assimilation effects of processing fluency. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(5), 876–889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. Sociological Methodology, 13, 290–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Suri, R., Kohli, C., & Monroe, K. B. (2007). The effects of perceived scarcity on consumers’ processing of price information. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35(1), 89–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Suri, R., & Monroe, K. B. (2003). The effects of time constraints on consumers’ judgments of prices and products. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(1), 92–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Teas, R. K., & Agrawal, S. (2000). The effects of extrinsic product cues on consumers' perceptions of quality, sacrifice, and value. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28(2), 278–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Tsai, C. I., & McGill, A. L. (2011). No pain, no gain? How fluency and construal level affect consumer confidence. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(5), 807–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tsai, C. I., & Thomas, M. (2011). When does feeling of fluency matter? How abstract and concrete thinking influence fluency effect. Psychological Science, 22(3), 348–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Zhao, X., Lynch, J. G., Jr., & Chen, Q. (2010). Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(2), 197–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chaoyang University of TechnologyDepartment of Marketing and Logistics ManagementTaichungTaiwan

Personalised recommendations