Investigation of the Effect of Using Three-Part Constructions or the "Rule of Three" in Advertising



Objective. To get closer to understanding the possibility of using the effect of three-part constructions in advertising in relation to the Russian segment of consumers. To consider the effect of the effect of three-part constructions in advertising relative to the level of education and consumer skepticism.
Background. The credibility of an advertising message consists of many factors. One of them is the number of positive reviews about the advertised product. As for the theory of American psychologists S.B. Shu and K.A. Carlson, three-part constructions or the "rule of three" suggest that a construction of three positive statements about a product is the most favorable combination for consumers, while a large number of statements causes skepticism and distrust of advertising. This study was conducted in the Russian segment of consumers with higher and incomplete higher education. The study of the effectiveness of advertising in relation to its reliability in relation to consumers is certainly an urgent topic in relation to marketing.
Study design. The study examined the relationship between higher education, impression skepticism, and the number of positive product claims in advertising. The presence and nature of the relationship were checked through the construction of a linear regression model.
Participants. Russian sample (pilot study): 24 people, of which 14 are women and 10 are men. Participant’s ages ranged from 20 to 76 years (M = 27,0; SD = 13,9). Study: 110 people, of which 72 are women and 38 are men aged 18 to 76 years (M = 30,0; SD = 12,6). The number of respondents with higher education was 56 people, without higher education – 54 people.
Measurements Analysis of the regression model. The method of expert assessments. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov criteria were used to assess the nature of the data distribution.
Results. The impressions from advertising with one positive statement about the product are higher among respondents with higher education; the impression of advertising with three and four statements is not interconnected with the presence of higher education; in relation to advertising with five statements, it was found that the impression is better for people without higher education. Low skepticism subjects were found to prefer ads with more product descriptions (5 or 6). In the group of respondents with higher education and a low level of skepticism, a predisposition to advertising with one and two positive statements about the product was found. Regarding the group of respondents with incomplete higher education and low level of skepticism, there was a tendency to advertise with five statements.
Conclusions. The hypotheses that were confirmed showed that the presence of low levels of skepticism among respondents is associated with a stronger impression of advertising with one, two, five and six positive statements about the product. Regarding the three and four positive statements, the phenomenon was not observed. The study did not find any relationship between the level of education and the effect of the “effect of three” in the advertising message, which suggests the presence of this feature among the Russian segment of consumers.

General Information

Keywords: three-part constructions in advertising, rule of three, marketing, advertising, skepticism, impression of advertising

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by the Academic Fund Program at the HSE University in 2022 (grant № 22-00-014).

Received: 19.07.2022


For citation: Koryagina N.A., Lyamtseva A.E. Investigation of the Effect of Using Three-Part Constructions or the "Rule of Three" in Advertising. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2023. Vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 194–206. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2023140111. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia A. Koryagina, PhD in Psychology, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexandra E. Lyamtseva, 3rd year student, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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