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Abstract

Really new products (RNPs) provide novel benefits yet many consumers are reluctant to accept these highly innovative new products. Previous literature has shown that mental simulation is an ef-fective method for enhancing the evaluation of RNPs. However. Castano et al. (2008) and Zhao, Hoeffler, and Zauberman (2011) demonstrate conflicting results as to which type of mental simu-lation (i.e ., process versus outcome) is more effective for the enhancement of RNP evaluation. The authors try to reconcile these results by incorporating a moderating variable which is personal need for structure (PNS). PNS is an individual difference variable that taps the differences in people`s propensity to cognitively structure and simplify their environment (Neuberg and Newsom 1993). From the analysis of the previous two works, the authors point out that consumers` susceptibility to uncertainty may contribute to the different results, and suggest that this susceptibility is dependent on consumers` PNS. To test the hypotheses established an experiment was conducted. Waterless washing machine was presented as a RNP and PNS was measured by using the 12-item PNS Scale (Thompson et al. 2001). The results of the study show that for high-PNS consumers, process sim-ulation is more effective than outcome simulation for enhancing the evaluation of a RNP. whereas for low-PNS consumers, outcome simulation is more effective than process simulation. This research contributes to the mental simulation and new product literature by suggesting and ver-ifying that PNS moderates the effects of process versus outcome simulations for enhancing the evalu-ation of RNPs. This research provides important managerial implications for marketing managers of RNPs. indicating that they should take account of the target consumers` PNS in planning marketing communications. Specifically, when targeting high-PNS consumers, marketing communications that en-courage process simulation may be more effective than those that encourage outcome simulation. In contrast, when targeting Iow-PNS consumers, marketing communications that encourage outcome simulation may be more effective than those that encourage process simulation.

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