Do payment mechanisms change the way consumers perceive products? We argue that consumers for whom credit cards (cash) have been primed focus more on benefits (costs) when evaluating a product. In study 1, credit card (cash) primed participants made more (fewer) recall errors regarding cost attributes. In a word recognition task (study 2), participants primed with credit card (cash) identified more words related to benefits (costs) than those in the cash (credit card) condition. In study 3, participants in the credit card (cash) condition responded faster to benefits (costs) than to costs (benefits). This differential focus led credit card primed consumers to express higher reservation prices (studies 1–3) and also affected their product choices (study 4) relative to those primed with cash.
Chatterjee, P., &Rose, R. L. (2011). Do payment mechanisms change the way consumers perceive products?. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(6), 1129-1139.