How to study consciousness in consumer research

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Title: How to study consciousness in consumer research
Authors: Sweldens, S
Tuk, MA
Huetter, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Consumer research can benefit greatly from more insight in unconscious processes underlying behavior . Williams and Poehlman’s effort at more clearly conceptualizing consciousness and call for more research provide s a welcome stimulus in this regard. At the same time, providing evidence for unconscious causation is fraught with metho dological difficulties. We outline why it is vital to uphold standards of evidence for claims regarding unconscious processes, as it is precisely a lack of rigor on this front which has generated a countermovement by researchers sceptical of dual process models in general and unconscious processes in particular . We contend that the sceptics have offered vali d causes for concern, which we leverage to formulate six concrete recommendations for future research on consciousness. Researchers should (1) specify the process level at which they claim evidence for unconscious processes, (2) not confuse unconscious inf luences with unconscious processes, (3) carefully choose between different operational definitions of awareness, (4) maximally satisfy four criteria for awareness measures, and (5) complement measurement with experimental manipulations of awareness. Finall y, we recommend to (6) refrain from hard claims about unconscious causation that transcend the limitations of the evidence, recognizing that consciousness is a continuous construct.
Date of Acceptance: 7-Dec-2016
ISSN: 0093-5301
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Consumer Research
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until publication.
Keywords: Marketing
1505 Marketing
1506 Tourism
1701 Psychology
Publication Status: Accepted
Embargo Date: publication subject to indefinite embargo
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School

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