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A study designed to test the competing explanations supported a schema-based interpretation of the persuasive impact of autobiographical memories in advertising.Self-referencing has been described as the persuasive mechanism for ads that encourage consumers retrieval of past autobiographical memories (Sujan, Bettman, & Baumgartner, 1993; Baumgartner, Sujan, & Bettman, 1992).Research has tended to indicate that the presentation of an autobiographical memories ad causes consumers to focus their attention on idiosyncratic experiences associated with a specific past event.
Though this explanation may seem plausible, few studies have actually examined how self-referencing and affect lead to persuasion.
Additionally, the studies currently available have found mixed support for the effectiveness of these ads.
The memory is experienced as the representatin of an event at a particular time and location (Brewer & Pani, 1983) and is characterized as having unique cognitive properties of the self (Gergen, 1971).
This effect has led researchers to characterize ads which evoke autobiographical memories as representative of episodic rather than semantic memory (Baumgartener et al., 1992).
In this model, affect is stored at the top level of the schematic structure without access to all the categorys features and their respective evaluations; affect is linked to the initial act of categorization.
Thus, stimulus that is perceived as a consistent (vs.Overgeneral autobiographical memory, the tendency to recall categories of events when asked to provide specific instances from one's life, has been shown to be characteristic of depressed, suicidal, and traumatized individuals.In the current study, overgeneral memory interacted with the occurrence of stressful life events to predict subsequent depression symptoms in a nonclinical sample of college students.ABSTRACT - Marketers frequently use ads intended to evoke autobiographical memories to influence consumers evaluations of products.Little empirical evidence exists, however, to explain the processes by which the self-referencing done by consumers during these ads affects persuasion. Price, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Danny K.Axsom, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Eloise Coupey, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ABSTRACT - Marketers frequently use ads intended to evoke autobiographical memories to influence consumers evaluations of products.Controlling for initial depression symptoms, students who showed both high overgeneral memory and high frequencies of stressful life events had more depression symptoms 4–6 weeks later.Overgeneral memory was correlated with an index of specificity culled from autobiographical essays but, contrary to expectation, was uncorrelated with self-report measures of thought suppression, dissociation, avoidance, or intrusion.In one study (Sujan et al., 1993), the researchers found that self-referencing was an effective persuasive technique as it resulted in a higher evaluation of the product compared to a more traditional product focus type of ad.In a different study, the same authors found that the autobiographical memory ad led to a higher evaluation of the ad, but not the product (Baumgartner et al., 1992).