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Warning of potential side effects of a product can increase its sales
Date:9/23/2013

ings backfired because the psychological distance created by the delay between exposure to the ad and the customer decision made the side effects seem abstractparticipants came to see the warning as an indication of the firm's honesty and trustworthiness.

In fact, participants evaluated drugs for erectile dysfunction and hair loss that had potentially serious side effects more favorably, and as more trustworthy, when they were told the products weren't on the shelves yet.

While conventional wisdom suggests that explicit warnings about dangerous side effect will make people think twice before taking medical risks, these findings suggests otherwise. The researchers believe that their findings are important because these kinds of warnings are so ubiquitous, accompanying many different products or services beyond medications, including medical procedures, financial investments, and sporting activities.

Given how frequently we are exposed to such warnings, Carmon hopes to bring greater attention to their potential to backfire.

"This effect may fly under the radar since people who try to protect the public regulatory agencies, for example tend to test the impact of a warning shortly after consumers are exposed to it," says Carmon. "By doing so, they miss out on this worrisome delayed outcome."


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Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

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