You are here


Integrating market research projections: The bias toward lower numbers

Anne Louise Roggeveen, 2001
Faculty Advisor: Gita Venkataramani Johar


Managers today have enormous opportunity to examine multiple market research reports. These reports are useful in creating marketing plans. Often, however, these multiple market research reports contain conflicting information. The question explored in this research is how a manager integrates conflicting quantitative information (projections) to form a forecast to be used in marketing planning.

The work builds from information integration theory (e.g., Anderson 1971) arguing that forecasts area weighted combination of the scale values of the projections. It is hypothesized that confidence in the projections and meaning of the projections (good/bad news) each impact the weights, and that the level of the new projection (lower vs. higher than the initial projection) impacts the scale values.

In terms of confidence, it is hypothesized that there will be more adjustment when there is low confidence in an initial projection and higher confidence in a new projection. This hypothesis is supported. In terms of meaning, it is hypothesized that similar to the literature on the negativity bias (e.g., Skowronski and Carlson 1989) and asymmetric loss functions (e.g., Weber 1994), there will be a consistent pattern of more adjustment toward projections meaning bad news than toward those meaning good news. And in terms of level, it is hypothesized that there will be more adjustment toward lower numbers than toward higher numbers due to Weber's Law.

Because these two latter hypotheses are sometimes inconsistent (e.g., lower number implies good news and higher number implies bad news), this research pitted the two against each other. The lower numbers effect was identified as the more powerful and consistent effect-swamping the effects of negative information. This finding is supported across a variety of conditions. It occurs in both managerial and non-managerial settings. And, it is not easily reduced via accountability, training to think about the meaning, or familiarity with the variables. The pattern of adjusting more toward lower numbers is identified as a bias (a consistent pattern) across seven experiments and in a meta-analysis.

Doctoral Program News

Honigsberg featured in Ideas at Work

The August issue of Ideas at Work features research that doctoral candidate Colleen Honigsberg led in conjunction with Sharon Katz.

Read More about Colleen

Wazlawek featured in Ideas at Work

Abbie Wazlawek's joint research with Professor Daniel Ames is featured in the June 24th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Ethan Rouen featured in Ideas at Work

Ethan Rouen's joint research with Professor Dan Amiram is featured in the May 15th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Rivas Wins Fellowship

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Miguel Duro Rivas, who was awarded the Nasdaq Educational Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Read More about Miguel

Wong wins Deloitte Fellowship

We are proud to announce that Yu Ting (Forester) Wong is one of the recipients of the 2014 Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting.

Read More About Yu Ting >

The PhD Program Congratulates John Yao

PhD student John Yao was a finalist in the 2013 M&SOM (Manufacturing & Service Operations Management) student paper competition.

Read More About John >

Honigsberg Named Postdoctoral Fellow

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Colleen Honigsberg, who was named the Postdoctoral Fellow in Corporate Governance at the Millstein Center at Columbia Law School in October 2013

Read More about Colleen >


Application Deadlines

Master of Science in Marketing >

For Fall 2015 Entry:
Deadline: January 5th, 2015


Master of Science in Financial Economics

For Fall 2015 Entry:
Deadline: January 5th, 2015


Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering

For Fall 2014 Entry:
Early Decision: Jan 6, 2015
Regular Decision: Feb 15, 2015


Apply Now
Sept 2015

Deadline: 01/05/15

MS Marketing
Deadline: 01/05/15

MS Financial Economics
Deadline: 01/05/15


Check Application Status

Students listening to classroom lecture

Once you've submitted your application, you can login and track your status by using the link below.

Check Status