Three essays on the cognitive effects of categorization processes in markets

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Categorical boundaries serve to partition continuously differing social actors into groups that are perceived to be alike. The work in economic and organizational sociology often draws upon findings in cognitive psychology to understand how these categorization processes impact organizational and individual outcomes. In particular, researchers have recently focused their attention on the finding that these social mechanisms of categorization lead actors who straddle multiple categories to suffer a disadvantage. Those who span multiple categories defy clear categorization and are subsequently devalued because they are difficult to understand. In the three essays to follow, I aim to contribute to the work on understanding the cognitive aspects of categorization processes in markets. In the first essay, I use a natural experiment to provide a more solid empirical foundation as to the existence of a cognitively driven penalty for multiple-category membership. In my second essay, I theorize on whether the sequence of categorical affiliations affects how one is evaluated. I propose that those social actors who display a history of moves between less cognitively associated categories will be seen as being less credible. In my third essay, I examine how heterogeneity in audience experiences affects their ability to communicate with potential market participants. I hypothesize that audience with greater depth of expertise are able to attract more accurate offers from more focused producers, while those audience members with greater breadth of experiences attract less accurate offers from less focused producers.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2010
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Leung, Ming De
Associated with Stanford University, School of Business Administration.
Primary advisor Rao, Hayagreeva, 1959-
Thesis advisor Rao, Hayagreeva, 1959-
Thesis advisor Hannan, Michael
Thesis advisor Sorensen, Jesper B, 1967-
Advisor Hannan, Michael
Advisor Sorensen, Jesper B, 1967-


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Ming De Leung.
Note Submitted to the School of Business Administration.
Thesis Thesis (Ph. D.)--Stanford University, 2010.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2010 by Ming De Leung
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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