Are consumers aware of top-bottom but not of left-right inferences? Implications for shelf space positions

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We propose that the horizontal and vertical position of an item on a display is a source of information that individuals use to make judgments. Six experiments using 1 × 5 or 5 × 5 displays show that consumers judge that products placed at the bottom (vs. top) and on the left-hand (vs. middle and right-hand) side of a display are less expensive and of lower quality (Study 1a using a bar display, Study 1b using wine, and Study 1c using Swatch watches). Results support the claim that verticality effects (top-bottom) are attenuated when participants are less involved with the decision task (Study 2 using Swatch watches and chocolates) and when they are exposed to information that questions the diagnosticity of using vertical position as a cue (Study 3 using wine). However, the horizontality (left-right) effect is robust to both of these manipulations. Horizontality effects are exacerbated for participants primed with a number line (Study 4 also using wine), suggesting that exposure to the number line (where higher numbers are on the right) is a possible antecedent of the horizontality effect. The verticality effects may, on the other hand, reflect people's retail experience of seeing higher priced products on higher shelves, which leads to their forming a similar expectation. The paper concludes with a discussion of theoretical implications for visual information processing as well as practical implications for retail management. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)224-241
RevistaJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de set. 2015


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