In four experiments we examine the ability of simple concurrent disclosures to correct invalid inferences about brand quality based on advertising claims. We ensure that the disclosure is always encoded, yet we find that it is utilized to correct invalid inferences only under high-capacity conditions. Across the experiments, cognitive capacity is operationalized as opportunity to process (time), ability (explicitness of disclosure), and motivation (accuracy incentive). Two experiments use open-ended brand-claim recall and cognitive responses to establish that elaboration on the qualified claim and disclosure mediates its utilization in updating quality judgments. Given an impression-formation goal, such elaboration can occur on-line at the time of processing brand information or at the time of judgment, provided that the disclosure is internally or externally available. Practical strategies for facilitating the use of disclosures to correct inference errors are offered.
Journal of Consumer Researchvol.
24, (September 01, 1997):