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Journal cover: Journal of Product & Brand Management

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421
Incorporates: Pricing Strategy and Practice

Online from: 1992

Subject Area: Marketing

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Beyond reference price: understanding consumers’ encounters with unexpected prices

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Title:Beyond reference price: understanding consumers’ encounters with unexpected prices
Author(s):Joan Lindsey-Mullikin, (Assistant Professor, Babson College, Babson Park, Massachusetts, USA)
Citation:Joan Lindsey-Mullikin, (2003) "Beyond reference price: understanding consumers’ encounters with unexpected prices", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 12 Iss: 3, pp.140 - 153
Keywords:Consumer behaviour, Prices, References
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/10610420310476906 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:The concept of reference price is a well-established phenomenon in the marketing and consumer behavior literature. Given this, we investigate what happens when consumers, given a particular reference price, encounter unexpected prices. It is proposed that the theory of dissonance reduction provides a framework for studying situations in which consumers’ encountered prices are significantly different from their expectations. The three modes of dissonance reduction proposed: to change one’s attitude or cognition, to seek consonant information, and to trivialize some element of the dissonant relationship are demonstrated through theoretical interpretation and illustrated with in-depth interviews.

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