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Title: Absence makes the mind grow sharper : effects of element omission on subsequent recall
Authors: Sengupta, Jaideep
Gorn, Gerald J.
Keywords: Consumer behavior
Statistical analysis
Print advertising
Cognition and reasoning
Issue Date: May-2002
Citation: Journal of marketing research, v. 39, no. 2, May 2002, p. 186-201
Abstract: Advertisers often deliberately leave out crucial elements from an ad. A study focuses specifically on the recall effects resulting from a previously unstudied form of element omission - leaving out an entire visual element from the ad. Research on self-generation as well as on message elaboration indicates that such element omission may actually lead to an improvement along specific dimensions such as category recall and brand recall. Strong support for this perspective is found in a series of three experiments which explore the effects of feature omission both in the context of perception-based omission (wherein the omission is noticed purely on the basis of a perceptual process) and knowledge-based omission (wherein the omission is noticed due to prior expectations for that ad type). The pattern of findings favor a self-generation process (vs. a process centered on overall and elaboration) as being the likely driving mechanism for the recall advantages resulting from element omission.
Rights: Reprinted with permission from JMR, Journal of Marketing Research, published by the American Marketing Association, Jaideep Sengupta, Gerald J. Gorn, May 2002, v.39, no. 2, p. 186-201.
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