ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (11): 1271-1285.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.01271

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The polarization effect of project presentation in ranking list on project evaluation

DUAN Shen, MENG Lu()   

  1. School of Business, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2021-02-04 Published:2021-11-25 Online:2021-09-23
  • Contact: MENG Lu
  • Supported by:
    achievements of the 2020 top innovative talent cultivation funding plan of Renmin University of China;youth project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China(72002153)


Ranking lists are a way to help consumers quickly identify brands or products. Based on the spatial metaphor theory, this paper explores the polarization effect of different display modes (vertical vs horizontal) on the evaluation of consumer list items and its mechanism. Through five experiments, we find that consumers have a greater evaluation polarization effect on items in a vertical ranking list than in a horizontal ranking list, and verify the mediating role of item perceived difference in the above relationships; that is to say, the evaluation polarization effect of a vertical ranking list is driven by the perceived differences of individual higher ranking list items. In addition, when the evaluability of attributes is low, the evaluation polarization effect of different list items will appear; on the contrary, when the evaluability of attributes of ranking list items is high, the evaluation polarization effect disappears.

Key words: ranking list, evaluation polarization effect, item perceived variance, attribute evaluability, spatial metaphor