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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name



Management and Information Systems

First Advisor

Abhijit Biswas


Prior work in pricing research has shown that consumer evaluations may be lower than intended when retail discounts are exaggerated (e.g., more than 50-60%; Biswas and Blair 1991; Biswas et al. 2013; Krishnan, Dutta and Jha 2014; Tan and Chua 2004). Prior work also shows that these lower evaluations are mainly due to such discounts triggering quality concerns regarding the product. In the current research, I examine if positive emotions play a role in making an exaggerated discount more attractive to consumers, particularly in situations where such discounts might be viewed with skepticism. Through this research, I show that consumers’ negative quality perceptions will be mitigated when the price promotion is accompanied by positive emotional cues. One way for consumers to observe positive emotions is through online reviews. By performing two studies involving real data and four lab experiments, I show that quality perceptions are indeed negative for exaggerated discounts, but if such discounts are accompanied by online reviews with positive emotions, then the negative product quality perceptions associated with unusually large discounts are mitigated, thereby leading to higher consumer evaluations. I also show that the effect of emotional positive reviews on perceptions of quality is mediated by perceived reviewer effort and perceived review helpfulness as well as by increased positive affect. I also examine whether this effect is moderated by a trait variable, and a tactical variable. Finally, I present theoretical implications, managerial implications and also discuss limitations and future scope of work.

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