Reference Points Used in Quality and Value Judgements

Amna Kirmani, Hans Baumgartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We propose that a fundamental difference between quality and value judgments is that consumers rely more on internal standards (i.e., information stored in memory) to evaluate a brands quality and external standards (i.e., reference brands available in the evaluation context) to assess a brands value. Since internal standards are relatively stable and external reference brands may change across contexts, value judgments are more context-dependent than quality judgments. In addition, we propose that the relative invariance of quality ratings to contextual product information will hold only for consumers who are relatively familiar with the product category and the target brand. To examine the underlying mechanisms, an experimental study varies task, comparison brand information and familiarity and uses a process tracing methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalMarketing Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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