What is it about?

We examine the nonidentical impacts of identical panel information that discloses cosmetic ingredients by their English (i.e., low jargon; e.g., vitamin E) versus scientific names (i.e., high jargon; tocopherol instead) presented in short versus crowded panel on young consumers’ confidence in processing ingredients information and product judgements. In the same context, we also explore the effects of declarative aids provided within the ingredients panel.

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Why is it important?

Despite their heavy use of over-the-counter beauty/cosmetic products, little do we know how young consumers consult and utilise on-pack ingredients information provided in one format versus the other. This study is the first experimental work investigating the cosmetics-consuming youth’s reactions to panel design and aids to processing.

Perspectives

Young consumers’ processing-confidence and product evaluations increase (decrease) when the panel is brief (crowded) and presents cosmetic ingredients in low (high) jargon (Experiments 1, 2). However, when it discloses a factual aid [i.e., ingredient functions; e.g., tocopherol (antioxidant)], confidence in processing even the high-jargon information, as well as product judgements, increases irrespective of the panel’s length (Experiment 3). Moreover, a fictitious aid (e.g., dryness-fighting “atomic robots”) stimulates the same effect and bolsters processing confidence and product evaluations irrespective of both jargon and panel’s length (Experiment 4).

Yalım Özdinç
Counties Manukau District Health Board

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This page is a summary of: Meta-cognitive impairment in processing ingredients: the effects of jargon, list length and aids on young consumers’ evaluations of cosmetic products, Young Consumers Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers, October 2021, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/yc-03-2021-1286.
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