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What Is A Reference Point?
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We present a theoretical basis for reference point formation, and we report the results of a pilot study which tests this concept. In general, the results support the hypothesized relationship between the reference point and choice, and an individual difference factor, self esteem, was found to affect reference point formation. ABSTRACT – This paper examines the applicability of prospect theory’s reference point hypothesis to the consumer decision making process. In the priming task, participants were presented with one of the pictures of the glass that contained water, then provided an estimate of the amount of water.
Put simply, it is when the way information is presented influences our judgment. When given information about two equivalent options, we can be made to view one as more desirable, based on the way it is framed. In prospect theory, information is commonly framed in terms of gains or losses. The initial reference point was measured by asking subjects to indicate a target price they planned to pay for the VCR. The only information available was the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and the price “they remembered seeing” during a previous search effort (either $350 or $400). If prior information has an effect on the initial reference point, it should be manifested in a downward adjustment of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, and larger adjustments should be observed for the $350 than for the $400 recently observed price.
Thus, while uncertainties may exist in these situations, it is not clear how consumers use these uncertainties in evaluating alternative choice outcomes. We begin to explore this issue by examining the effects of two forms of phrasing the uncertainty — as a probability and as “a chance”–on consumers’ reference points and choices. In the following sections, we report the results of a pilot study which examines the five research hypotheses and the exploratory probability issue.
ReferencePoint @State values are not required for requests; if present in the request, the State code is ignored. ReferencePoint @Country values are not technically required for requests. However both country codes and city codes are recommended in the request because Worldspan/Axess reference points are not unique. ReferencePoint @Country values are not required for requests; if present in the request, the Country code is ignored.
Our results imply that increase and decrease from the reference point differ psychologically and that such a difference affects the psychological processes of frame choice. Experiment 1 was conducted as a preliminary study for the following experiments. In their experimental procedure, participants were asked to choose one of two logically equivalent frames based on the cover story in which the information about the task-relevant reference point was provided. In addition, we asked participants to report the reason for their frame choice.