Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Paul W. Miniard

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mike Barone

Third Advisor's Name

Eric Shaw

Fourth Advisor's Name

Kimberly Taylor

Date of Defense



Most advertising research has focussed at examining effects of advertising on attitudinal responses or brand preference and choice. However, in a natural environment, the time period between advertising exposure and purchase decision is filled with prepurchase search. Prepurchase external search refers to information search from sources other than memory, prior to making a purchase decision. Usually consumers access only a small subset of available information and base their choice decisions on it. Prepurchase search therefore acts as a filter and, the final choice depends critically on the small subset of potential inputs the consumer notes in the environment and integrates into the decision. Previous research has identified a variety of factors that affect consumers' prepurchase search behavior. However, there is little understanding of how specific advertisements designed by marketers impact consumers' prepurchase search. A marketer would like consumers to search information that reflects favorably on his/her brand. Hence, s/he would attempt to influence the brands and attributes on which consumers seek information prior to making a choice. The dissertation investigates the process by which a particular marketer's advertising influences consumers' search on available brands, i.e., the marketer's brand and other competing brands. The dissertation considers a situation where exposure to advertising occurs prior to seeking information from any other source. Hence, the impact of advertising on subsequent search behavior is the topic of interest. The dissertation develops a conceptual model of advertising effects on brand search and conducts two experiments to test the tenets of this model. Specifically, the dissertation demonstrates that attitudinal responses generated by advertising mediate advertising effects on search attitudes and behaviors. The dissertation goes on to examine how attitudinal responses generated by advertising and subsequent effects on search alter brand preference and choice.




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