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The Abercrombie & Fitch Effect: The Impact of Physical Dominance on Male Customers' Status-Signaling Consumption
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. Department of Management/MAPP, Aarhus University, Denmark.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0283-8777
University of Alabama .
University of Alabama .
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. BI Norwegian Sch Management, Oslo, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8278-1442
2018 (English)In: Journal of Marketing Research, ISSN 0022-2437, E-ISSN 1547-7193, Vol. 55, no 1, p. 69-79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Consumer lay theory suggests that women will spend more money than men in the presence of a physically dominant male employee, whereas theories of intrasexual competition from evolutionary psychology predict the opposite outcome. A retail field study demonstrates that male customers spend more money and purchase more expensive products than their female counterparts in the presence (vs. absence) of a physically dominant male employee. This effect has a more powerful impact on male customers who lack bodily markers of dominance (shorter stature or measures linked to lower levels of testosterone). When confronted with other physically dominant (vs. nondominant) men, these male customers are particularly prone to signal status through price or logo size. Their elevated feelings of intrasexual (male-to-male) competitiveness drive them to spend more money on status-signaling, but not functional, products and to prefer and draw larger brand logos. Because pictorial exposure is sufficient for the effect to occur, these findings are not limited to in-store interactions with dominant male employees but have broad implications for marketing and advertising.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chicago, Illinois: American Marketing Association, 2018. Vol. 55, no 1, p. 69-79
Keywords [en]
status-signaling consumption, physical dominance, 2D:4D digit ratio, field study, evolutionary psychology
National Category
Business Administration Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66408DOI: 10.1509/jmr.15.0247ISI: 000423989800005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66408DiVA, id: diva2:1183413
Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-02-16 Last updated: 2018-05-25Bibliographically approved

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