Wegner, Daniel M.
January 1984
Advances in Consumer Research;1984, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p694
Academic Journal
An innuendo is a statement about something combined with a qualifier about the statement. "Brand X is not dangerous," therefore, is an innuendo; it can be decomposed into a statement (Brand X is dangerous) and qualifier (This statement is false). In the series of studies reviewed here, it is found that people are remarkably insensitive to innuendo qualifiers, basing their impressions instead on innuendo statements. The conditions under which this phenomenon can promote damage to the reputations of people, organizations, or products, and the steps that may be effective in avoiding such damage, are the principal concerns of the research.


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