Ehrenberg, A. S. C.
June 1995
Marketing Science;1995 Part 2 of 2, Vol. 14 Issue 3, pG20
Academic Journal
The first empirical generalisation arose in an exploratory study of attitudinal repeat rates when reinterviewing the same informants. The second is a more focused hypothesis test of price elasticities. Both can be judged as mere empirical regularities, there being little or no underlying theory as yet. But once such regularity has been established, it can lead to wider, more theoretical issues. One example of empirical generalisation concerns various brand performance or loyalty-related measures, ranging from repeat buying to brand switching. Historically, specific results for each such measure started to be established as regularities under near-steady-state conditions. These were then slowly extended for different products, time periods and countries and were followed, sometimes fairly soon, by separate local steady-state descriptive models and predictive and explanatory sub-theories. Moreover, replication does not mean identical duplication, which would tell one nothing new and is in any case impossible. The process depends instead on the fact that replications have to differ in some respects. Indeed, the more the conditions of observation differ, the better. Even a single set of data can usually be divided into systematically differentiated subsets to achieve some of these benefits.


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