Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Cognitive Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 44 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Laurie B Feldman


error detection, judgments of quality, purchase intention, xenophobia, Food service purchasing, Shopping, Consumer behavior, Spelling errors, English language, Xenophobia, Chinese restaurants, Restaurants, Quality of products

Subject Categories

Marketing | Psychology


In an online study of purchase intent based on Chinese menu inspection, explicitly noticing grammatical errors by hotspot click was more detrimental to judgments of quality than implicit detection by error estimation. When they estimated errors in a survey question (ordinal measure), participants who reported many (more than nine) errors had lower purchase intent and ratings of quality compared to those with few (about six) or no errors. However, with the more novel, continuous measure based on hotspot detection, participant purchase intent did not decrease as the number of errors noticed increased. Importantly, there were no differences between the hotspot and no hot spot conditions on any of the variables of interest. Surprisingly throughout, detection of more errors was associated with lower self-ratings of xenophobia. Despite having similar levels of hotspot accuracy and efficiency, people with high xenophobia were more biased against reporting errors (i.e., they responded conservatively) than people with low xenophobia. High xenophobia was unrelated to quality and yet those with high xenophobia had significantly lower purchase intent. In summary, method of error detection did not alter results and many errors impacted measures of quality. People with high xenophobia tend not to notice errors but choose not to support a Chinese restaurant, irrespective of perceptions of quality.