I "Heart" You: The Effects of Consumer' Schema Congruity/Incongruity on Attention, Recognition and Evaluation of Fair Labor Messages from Apparel Brands

Date
2015-11-12
Authors
Bhaduri, Gargi
Ha-Brookshire, Jung
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Altmetrics
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Abstract

What happens to consumers if they encounter a certain brand message that is different from their existing brand expectations, such as a fair labor message from a brand which does not have an image of being socially responsible? According to Mandler’s schema-congruity theory (1982), humans process new information based on their existing expectations or schemas. Information congruent to schema is considered familiar, processed effortlessly and leads to positive evaluation. Incongruent information is unfamiliar, leads to extensive processing to resolve incongruity, and, results in positive evaluation if incongruity is resolved or negative if not resolved. However, little research exists on psychological and physiological reactions such as attention devoted, while consumers are processing (in)congruent messages or their recognition and evaluation of such messages. In this regard, attention is important since if consumers do not pay attention to messages, it is unlikely that such messages have been processed deeply enough to impact their future purchase choices.

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