How Time and Disfluency Influence Omission Neglect
Ideally, people should form stronger beliefs when a large amount of information is available than when only a small amount is available. However, when people are insensitive to omissions, they form strong beliefs regardless of how much or how little is known about a topic. Furthermore, in rare instances in which a large amount of information is available, forgetting occurs over time and insensitivity to information loss from memory, another type of omission, leads people to form stronger beliefs over time. For example, consumers should form more favorable evaluations of a new camera when the camera performs well on eight attributes rather than only four attributes. However, research shows that consumers form equally favorable evaluations of the camera regardless of how much attribute information was presented. The amount of information presented matters only when consumers were warned that information might be missing. This warning increased sensitivity to omissions and lead consumers to form more favorable evaluations of the camera described by a greater amount of information.
Indeed, if a marketer fails to make a target brand’s relative strengths salient, these features that normatively should favorably impact brand evaluation and choice are unlikely to be weighed in judgment, and competitors are likely to reap market share that rightfully should be enjoyed by the target brand (Gilbert DT., 2002). To the extent that consumers exhibit omission neglect in their brand judgments, they are likely to make suboptimal decisions. If individuals are taught of their chronic insensitivity to missing information, they may be more critical consumers of marketing, and more likely to evaluate available information using their own preconceived judgmental criteria. Thus, important omissions from product descriptions are likely to be recognized, judgments are likely to be more accurate, which in turn will facilitate more satisfying decision making (Griffin D, Tversky A., 1992).
Omission neglect leads consumers to form less accurate opinions and, at the same time, leads consumers to hold these opinions with greater confidence. Consumers evaluate products at varying levels of abstractness.
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