Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)

Document Type



Research on partitioned pricing suggests that separating the surcharges from the base price of the advertised product may lead to a more favorable effect on consumers' evaluation of the offer compared to a combined presentation of the base price and the surcharge. In this dissertation we propose that partitioned price presentation may not always result in positive outcomes vis-à-vis combined presentation of prices. We propose that consumers' need for cognition and the perceived reasonableness of the surcharge are likely to influence their evaluation of partitioned versus combined prices. Based on cue diagnosticity, Persuasion Knowledge Model, and Characterization-Correction Model we develop process models of how consumers with differing need for cognitions evaluate partitioned and combined price information under reasonable and unreasonable surcharge conditions. The proposed hypotheses are tested across three studies, each consisting of two experiments. The three studies use different products and services and manipulate perceived reasonableness of surcharges in three different ways. The results of the first two studies provide support for the proposed hypotheses. The third study was designed to replicate the findings of the first two studies, examine the process models as well as measure the respondents' attitude toward the retailer under reasonable and unreasonable surcharge conditions. The results show strong support for the hypotheses and demonstrate that for high need for cognition individuals partitioned pricing leads to a higher perception of value of the offer and a higher willingness to purchase compared to combined pricing when the surcharges are perceived to be reasonable. These effects of partitioned pricing are completely reversed for high need for cognition individuals when the surcharge is perceived to be unreasonable. Low need for cognition individuals did not respond differently to the two pricing strategies.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Abhijit Biswas



Included in

Marketing Commons