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CAM: a spreading activation network model of subcategory positioning when categorization uncertainty is high (RV of 2007/18/MKT)

Author: Lajos, Joseph ; Katona, Zsolt ; Chattopadhyay, Amitava ; Sarvary, MiklosINSEAD Area: Marketing Series: Working Paper ; 2008/23/MKT/ISSRC (revised version of 2007/18/MKT) Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD Social Science Research Centre (ISSRC) 2008.Language: EnglishDescription: 28 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: Many new products (e.g., PDA phones) share features with multiple other product categories, but are also substantially different from each of these categories. When consumers encounter such a product, they may create a new subcategory (e.g., smart phones) to accommodate it. In such situations, consumers must decide where within the category structure to position the new subcategory (e.g., under the PDA category or under the phone category). We develop a spreading activation model that we call the Category Activation Model (CAM) to predict where within a category structure consumers are likely to position a subcategory that they have created to accommodate a new, hybrid product. Based on this model, we hypothesize that the probability that an individual will position a new category subordinate to a particular category i is proportional to the relative number of categories that are already subordinate to i. We report the results of three studies that support this hypothesis, and provide evidence that accessibility is an underlying mechanism. Previous title: CAM: a spreading activation network model of subcategory positioning when categorization uncertainty is high (RV of 2006/41/MKT) - Katona, Zsolt;Lajos, Joseph;Chattopadhya - 2007 - INSEAD Working Paper
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Many new products (e.g., PDA phones) share features with multiple other product categories, but are also substantially different from each of these categories. When consumers encounter such a product, they may create a new subcategory (e.g., smart phones) to accommodate it. In such situations, consumers must decide where within the category structure to position the new subcategory (e.g., under the PDA category or under the phone category). We develop a spreading activation model that we call the Category Activation Model (CAM) to predict where within a category structure consumers are likely to position a subcategory that they have created to accommodate a new, hybrid product. Based on this model, we hypothesize that the probability that an individual will position a new category subordinate to a particular category i is proportional to the relative number of categories that are already subordinate to i. We report the results of three studies that support this hypothesis, and provide evidence that accessibility is an underlying mechanism.

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