The effect of negative information on consumer product evaluations has been studied heavily in the context purchase intentions and other preference-related measures. In this study, we examine the context (negative health hazard information on meat commodities), direction (positive and negative), and intensity (low and high) of information on consumer choice processes. We draw from the literature on Bayesian updating, choice processes and heuristics, as well as cognitive and information processing to propose a set of hypotheses and empirically test them using survey data. Our results indicate that under low intensity, information consumers tend to employ a non-compensatory type choice process with the health aspects of the product being nonsalient. In the case of high-intensity negative information, consumers employ a compensatory choice process and consider the health dimension of the product. These results are mainly attributed to variations in the allocation of consumer cognitive resources in the decision-making process as a result of the different types of information, changing it from peripheral to central, and affecting the decision strategy and choices. The results may provide insight into how to design better marketing and media strategies in response to unfavorable information about health hazards.


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