A train of thought in product experientiality: working memory, distraction, and inconsistencies in cue order effects

Tobias Offergeld, Luis F. Martinez, Aristides I. Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


The sequence of informational cues and the level of distraction have an impact on the judgment of a product's quality and preference. Two quasi-experimental studies (Ntotal = 340) investigate the influence of the force behind the processing of these cues – working memory (WM). Previous research found that, in the presence of a distractor, high WM individuals are more able to recall the initial cue, and thus derive their product judgment from the initial strong cue. Study 1 contradicts these findings and raises important methodological questions regarding the conceptualization of strong and weak cues. Specifically, commonly accepted strong cues (e.g., product reputation) might not influence consumers as expected. Additionally, in a sequence of product evaluation with high vs. low degree of experientiality, study 2 reveals that consumers tend to show a primacy effect that is stronger for higher levels of WM capacity. Moreover, in a sequence of assessing low vs. high degree of experientiality products, consumers reveal stronger recency effects, thus showing that WM reinforces this recency effect. Our findings have important implications for marketers by suggesting that consumers with high WMC are more able to process complex stimuli and retrieve previously presented information on a product quality. These consumers also have a higher tendency to retrieve more information from product scenarios with a high degree of experientiality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101971
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Brand trust
  • Cue order effects
  • Dual-task interference
  • Experientiality
  • Product evaluation
  • Working memory capacity


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