The limitations of musical fit effects
Yeoh, Joanne Pei Sze
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This thesis examines the limitations of the impact of musical fit on consumers‟ behavior. Musical fit is a recent concept in the literature, concerning how a correspondence between the properties of a product and those of concurrent background music can influence choice between competing products or prime recall of those products. The first chapter reviews theories concerning the impact of music on consumer behaviour. Seven further chapters follow, each describing one or two lab-based experiments. The first study showed that musical fit cannot influence preferences between utilitarian products. Studies 2, 3 and 4 found that musical fit influenced consumers only when they do not have pre-existing product preferences and are motivated to consider competing products. Study 5 found that musical fit influenced product choices only when consumers had limited (rather than ample) time in which to consider competing products. Studies 6 and 7 suggested that musical fit operates by priming product-related thoughts: it led to greater recall of associated products and to these products being recalled more quickly. The concluding chapter summarises the findings, describes the limitations of the research (and provides guidance for future research), and addresses the theoretical and practical implications of the current work.