Mental simulation and category knowledge affect really new product evaluation through transportation

Jesper H. Nielsen, Jennifer Edson Escalas, Steve Hoeffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We propose that when consumers encounter really new products (RNPs), defined as products that allow consumers to do something they have never been able to do before and whose benefits are often ambiguous at first, they spontaneously generate mental simulations in an attempt to assess the value of these products. When these self-generated simulations are in the form of sufficiently engrossing and vivid narratives, they can evoke transportation, a phenomenological experience of being "lost" in a story. We also assert that consumers with extensive experience in a related product category are most likely to produce vivid and absorbing simulations that lead to narrative transportation. When consumers are transported within their simulations, it ultimately enhances their overall evaluations of the RNP. Thus, we find that those with more product category knowledge evaluate RNPs more favorably than those with less knowledge, due to the extent to which they are transported by their thoughts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Expertise
  • Innovation
  • Narrative transportation
  • Persuasion
  • Really new products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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