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Appetite for destruction: Counter-intuitive effects of attractive faces on people's food choices
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-47648OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-47648DiVA: diva2:1065762
Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2017-01-16
In thesis
1. A Shaken Self on Shopping: Consumer Threats and Compensatory Consumption
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Shaken Self on Shopping: Consumer Threats and Compensatory Consumption
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In a series of experiments, with a total sample of over 2,400 participants, this thesis investigates how various threats that customers may encounter influence the customers’ subsequent purchase and choice behaviors. Furthermore, this thesis examines whether individuals’ predicted behaviors in certain consumer contexts are congruent with customers’ actual behaviors in these very contexts.

Paper I takes an evolutionary approach and investigates whether a status threat to male customers, induced by exposure to physically dominant men, results in compensatory consumption of products that signal status through price or size.

Paper II takes a reactance-based approach and examines whether customers whose freedom to touch has been threatened compensate by touching, and ultimately purchasing, a larger number of products.

Paper III investigates whether threats to customers’ self-control in one domain influence choice behavior and consumption preferences in another unrelated domain. More specifically, the paper examines whether exposure to attractive opposite-sex faces (and hence a subtle activation of sexual desire and its associated pleasure-seeking mindset) makes individuals more motivated to choose and consume unhealthy-but-rewarding foods.     

The main findings of this work can be summarized as follows: Consumer threats result in compensatory consumption, not only in the specific domain under threat, but also in unrelated or only symbolically similar domains. Such compensatory responses are in direct contrast to consumer lay beliefs and even the predictions made by marketing professors and other scholars, which suggests that people are generally unaware of the impact that certain threats have on their behavior. These results should be as interesting for customers who want to make informed choices and resist various influence attempts as for marketers, advertisers, and retail managers who want to influence customers. 

Abstract [en]

In a series of experiments, this thesis investigates how threats that customers may encounter influence their subsequent purchase and choice behaviors. Moreover, this thesis examines whether individuals’ predicted behaviors are congruent with customers’ actual behaviors in certain consumer contexts.

Paper I investigates whether a status threat to male customers, induced by physically dominant men, results in compensatory consumption of products that signal status through price or size. Paper II examines whether customers whose freedom to touch has been threatened compensate by touching, and ultimately purchasing, more products. Paper III investigates whether attractive opposite-sex faces threaten individuals’ self-control, thereby making them more motivated to choose and consume unhealthy-but-rewarding foods.

The results reveal that consumer threats do indeed lead to compensatory consumption. Such compensatory responses are in direct contrast to lay beliefs and even predictions made by marketing professors, suggesting that people are generally unaware of the impact certain threats have on their behavior. These results should be as interesting for customers trying to make informed choices as for marketers, advertisers, and retail managers trying to influence customers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstads universitet, 2017. 50 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2017:6
Keyword
threat-compensation effects, compensatory consumption, belief-behavior inconsistencies
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-47650 (URN)978-91-7063-746-9 (ISBN)978-91-7063-747-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-04-21, 11D227, Karlstad University, Karlstad, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-30 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2017-08-11Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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