When consumers receive verbal information about a product's attributes, the influence of the affect they are experiencing on their product evaluations depends on their belief that the product should be judged on the basis of hedonic versus utilitarian criteria. When consumers see the product before they receive attribute information, however, the product's appearance can stimulate them to form an affect-based initial impression that they later use as a basis for judgments independently of the criteria they would otherwise apply. Consequently, the affect that consumers happen to be in has different effects on their judgments than it would otherwise. Moreover, this affect can influence the way consumers process other, more specific, attribute information.
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