Keith Wilcox, Anne L. Roggeveen, Dhruv Grewal; Shall I Tell You Now or Later? Assimilation and Contrast in the Evaluation of Experiential Products. J Consum Res 2011; 38 (4): 763-773. doi: 10.1086/660702
This research demonstrates that the effect of product information on the evaluation of an experiential product depends on the order with which such information is presented. In a series of experiments, we find that when information is presented before consuming an experiential product, the information results in an assimilation effect such that consumers evaluate the same experience more positively when the product information is favorable compared to when it is unfavorable. More interestingly, we demonstrate that when such information is presented after consuming an experiential product, it results in a contrast effect such that consumers evaluate the same experience more negatively when the product information is favorable compared to when it is unfavorable. These findings have important implications for marketers in a host of experiential categories.