The influence of negation on product evaluations

Susan Jung Grant*, Prashant Malaviya, Brian Sternthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The persuasive impact of a negation ("not difficult to use") is shown to depend on the allocation of Cognitive resources. When resources are substantial, a brand is evaluated more favorably when a negation is positively valenced ("not difficult to use") than when it is negatively valenced ("not easy to use"). Under limited resources, a negation has no effect. Between these extremes in resource allocation, the brand is evaluated more favorably when the negation is negatively valenced than when it is positively valenced. Further, this outcome under moderate resources occurs even though respondents represent the negation accurately in memory. These findings provide evidence that the processing of a negation follows a specific sequence such that the affirmation ("difficult to use") is elaborated first, and then the negator tag ("not") is incorporated in judgment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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