Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Business Administration

First Advisor

Murry, John P., Jr.

First Committee Member

Cole, Catherine A.

Second Committee Member

Gaeth, Gary J.

Third Committee Member

Luangrath, Andrea W.

Fourth Committee Member

Windschitl, Paul D.


This research seeks to advance our understanding about potential sources of error arising from key decisions when conducting new product concept tests. My particular focus is on research design decisions including respondent selection (younger vs. older), information type (attribute vs. benefit) and presentation format (verbal vs. visual) and how their decisions influence respondents’ evaluations of new product concepts during concept tests. Importantly, I draw on construal level theory (CLT) to demonstrate that decisions in these three areas influence respondents’ reactions to new product concepts in an interactive rather than independent manner.

A key implication is that design decisions in concept testing lead to acceptance and rejection of product concepts independent of the inherent characteristics of the concepts themselves. Therefore, this research identifies potential sources of error not yet identified in the marketing literature. Furthermore, I provide prescriptions for overcoming the identified limitations. For example, I draw on CLT to explain challenges older respondents face when evaluating “attribute only” concept statements. The findings in this research suggest thst when product managers conduct “attribute only” product concept tests with older adults, they should consider the inclusion of design factors such as images and instructions that promote a more concrete processing style.


ix, 108 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-108).


Copyright © 2018 Young Kyu Kim