Interaction effects of mood induction and nominal representation of price on consumer choice
Journal article, 2005

The transition to the euro in several European countries causes consumers to make mistakes in economic transactions. One mistake referred to as the ‘‘euro il-lusion’’ is the tendency to evaluate prices on the basis of their nominal represen-tation, thus overestimating or underestimating how expensive products are. In-vestigating effects of the euro illusion on consumer choice as well as moderating effects of mood, three laboratory experiments were conducted employing conven-ience samples of students. In Experiment 1 a bias toward the nominal represen-tation was demonstrated when participants chose an unfamiliar (fictitious) large unit currency (small numbers) for paying the price of a consumer product but chose an unfamiliar small-unit currency (large numbers) for obtaining a salary. The bias was larger for participants who were induced to feel positive and deacti-vated (calm and relaxed) than for participants who were induced to feel negative and activated (anxious and jittery). The difference in frequencies of choice of cur-rency was replicated in Experiment 2. No effects were, however, found of natural mood assessed by self-report ratings. In Experiment 3 choices of more expensive consumer products with additional features were more frequent when the prices were expressed in the large-unit currency than when expressed in the small-unit currency. Neither in this case did self-reported natural mood affect the choices.

decision making

Nominal representation



Amelie Gamble

University of Gothenburg

Daniel Västfjäll

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Acoustics

Tommy Gärling

University of Gothenburg

A Marell

Journal of retailing and consumer services

Vol. 12 6 397-406

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