Marketing Abstracts

"Planting Orange Trees in Twenty Cultures: The Practice of International Negotiation"

Professor(s): John Graham
Co-author(s): Mehdi Mahdavi and Navid Fatehi-Rad
Accepted at: Negotiation Journal

International commerce has always driven human progress. Its inherent cultural diversity has maximized the new ideas that improve consumers’ lives around the world. The best international business relationships are maintained over the long term and managed through inventive negotiation processes. Investments in time and money are required to build the trust and honest information exchange that allow for exploitation of mutually beneficial opportunities. This article provides a database and associated tools to help international negotiators understand the cultural differences that may impact buyer–seller relationships between parties from twenty countries and cultures including the United States and Iran.

"Finding Potential Speed Bumps and Pitfalls in Buyer-Seller Negotiations in Twenty Cultures"

Professor(s): John Graham
Co-author(s): Mehdi Mahdavi and Navid Fatehi-Rad
Accepted at: Negotiation Journal

Our study examines the effects of culture on negotiation behaviors and outcomes. We also explore how culture moderates the relationships between those behaviors and outcomes, a subject that has been neglected by most researchers. Our work integrates theories and methods from many areas of the behavioral sciences: marketing science, decision analysis, behavioral economics, game theory, social psychology, anthropology, sociolinguistics, linguistics, content analysis and structural equations modeling. The data were created in laboratory settings in which 1,198 businesspeople from twenty cultural groups participated in a three-product buyer-seller negotiation simulation. In this article we first describe how our database was developed. Second, we look at how observed behaviors are associated with questionnaire-derived negotiation processes and outcomes. Third, we develop a new tool for understanding cultural differences and use it to investigate how culture influences negotiation behaviors, processes, and outcomes across the twenty cultural groups included in our database.

"Is this Product Easy to Control? Liabilities of Using Difficult-to-pronounce Product Names"

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): James Leonhardt (Merage PhD ’13)
Accepted at: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

This research studied difficult-to-pronounce product names which are prevalent in certain product categories. In study 1, consumers tried golf balls that varied in name pronounceability but were otherwise identical and, despite direct experience, concluded balls with difficult versus easy-to-pronounce names were less controllable and less preferable. In study 2, consumers were asked to look for a dog that was highly (less highly) controllable for an urban (rural) setting, and the dog with the difficult-to-pronounce name was viewed as less controllable because it seemed less familiar and was less preferred for the urban setting. Study 3 verified the effects of difficult-to-pronounce names on familiarity and controllability perceptions and found preference effects among those with high trait desire for control. Study 4 documented the prevalence of difficult-topronounce names on a popular ecommerce site for tires. Overall, our findings indicate managers should avoid using difficult-to-pronounce product names when consumers strongly desire product controllability.

"Application of Automated Text Analysis to Examine Emotions Expressed in Online Support Groups for Quitting Smoking"

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): Erin A. Vogel
Accepted at: Journal of the Association for Consumer Research

Online support groups offer social support and an outlet for expressing emotions when dealing with health-related challenges. This study examines whether automated text analysis of emotional expressions using LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) can identify emotions related to abstinence expressed in online support groups for quitting smoking, suggesting promise for offering targeted mood management to members. The emotional expressions in one month of posts by members of 36 online support groups were related to abstinence at month end. Using the available LIWC dictionary, posts were scored for overall positive emotions, overall negative emotions, anxiety, anger, sadness and an upbeat emotional tone. Greater expressions of negative emotions, and specifically anxiety, related to non-abstinence, while a more upbeat emotional tone related to abstinence. The results indicate that automated text analysis can identify emotions expressed in online support groups for quitting smoking and enable targeted delivery of mood management to group members

"CORONAVIRUS: Your Customers Have Changed. Here’s How to Engage them Again"

Professor(s): Professor Imran Currim
Co-author(s): Rohit Deshpandé and Ofer Mintz (Merage PhD ’11)
Accepted at: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge: Business Research for Business Leaders

The coronavirus shock has disrupted more than jobs, supply chains and financial markets. The number one task for many companies now is discovering where their B2C and B2B customers have moved to and re-engaging with them. We provide advice on how companies should re-engage with them.

"How Influencers, Celebrities, and FOMO Can Win Over Vaccine Skeptics"

Professor(s): Professor Imran Currim
Co-author(s): Rohit Deshpandé and Ofer Mintz (Merage PhD ’11)
Accepted at: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge: Business Research for Business Leaders

Drawing from product innovation theory we offer three recommendations to speed adoption of COVID-19 vaccines. With people all over the world beginning to get COVID-19 vaccines, most of the press coverage so far has focused on its amazing development. What’s receiving less attention is a critical last-mile issue that could stand in the way of achieving herd immunity: patient hesitation, also known as the “shots-in-arms.”

"The Right Metrics for Marketing Mix Decisions"

Professor(s): Professor Imran Currim
Co-author(s): Ofer Mintz (Merage PhD ’11), Timothy J. Gilbride and Peter Lenk
Accepted at: International Journal of Research in Marketing

This study addresses the following question: For a given managerial, firm and industry setting, which individual metrics are effective for making marketing-mix decisions that improve perceived performance outcomes? We articulate the key managerial takeaways based on testing a multi-stage behavioral framework that links decision context, metrics selection and performance outcomes. Our statistical model adjusts for potential endogeneity bias in estimating metric effectiveness due to selection effects and differs from past literature in that managers can strategically choose metrics based on their ex-ante expected effectiveness. The key findings of our analysis of 439 managers making 1287 decisions are that customer-mindset marketing metrics such as awareness and willingness to recommend are the most effective metrics for managers to employ while financial metrics such as target volume and net present value are the least effective. However, relative to financial metrics, managers are more uncertain about the ex-ante effectiveness of customermindset marketing metrics, which attenuates their use. A second study on 142 managers helps provide detailed underlying rationale for these key results. The implications of metric effectiveness for dashboards and automated decision systems based on machine learning systems are discussed.

"Influence of Chief Executive Officers’ Religious Affiliations on Advertising Spending and Shareholder Value"

Professor(s): Professor Imran Currim
Co-author(s): John Bae (Merage PhD ’14), Hannah Oh (Merage PhD ’14), Jooseop Lim (Merage PhD ’04) and Yu Zhang
Accepted at: European Journal of Marketing

This study aims to answer two unique related questions on the overarching relationship between a CEO’s personal religious affiliation, the firm’s advertising spending decision and its shareholder value. First, does the CEO’s religious affiliation, a proxy for risk taking, influence the firm’s advertising spending decision? Second, does the advertising spending decision mediate the relationship between the CEO’s religious affiliation and the firm’s shareholder value?

"Researching Multisensory Experiences through an Artist’s Eye."

Professor(s): Professor Tonya Williams Bradford
Co-author(s): Rebecca Scott
Accepted at: Journal of Marketing Management

Individuals encounter a range of experiences in the marketplace, some of them entailing inarticulable multisensory consumption contexts. Current marketing and consumer research data collection tools and theoretical representations may not adequately reflect the complexity of such experiences. Thus, we developed an interdisciplinary approach to identifying multisensory consumption experiences that occur in contexts where feelings are ‘unsayable.’ Through a study of families who donated the organs of a deceased loved one, we develop an art-centric methodology to uncover thoughts, experiences, and feelings that may not be accessible for individuals as they attempt to describe these profound multisensory experiences or their implications in lived experience. We conclude with implications for market and consumer research.

"Functional analysis of generalized linear models under non-linear constraints with applications to identifying highly-cited papers."

Doctoral Candidate Duke Chowdhury
Accepted at: Journal of Informetrics

This article introduces a versatile functional form for Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) through a simple, yet effective, transformation of the current framework. The models are applied through a new hierarchical bayesian estimation procedure for Logistic Regression to highly-cited papers in the Management Information Systems (MIS) field. The results are uniformly better, in regards to model fit and inference for in-sample and out-of-sample data, for simulation studies and real-world data applications, requiring very little time to convergence to true population parameters. In simulation studies, I show that the method contains the true parameters nearly three times as often as widely used existing GLMs, and does so while having confidence intervals that are 54.50% smaller, while requiring around two-thirds the number of MCMC iterations as existing bayesian methods. In applications the methodology is shown to be highly robust with predictive/classification accuracy, either equaling or exceeding existing methods for identifying highly-cited articles including Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). Thus, the method is shown to be robust to the amount of asymmetry (or symmetry) of the probability of success (or failure) and robust to unbalanced samples and varying Data Generating Processes. Further, the methodology is equivalent to current methods if the data support them and is therefore complementary to existing methods, without loss of interpretability of model parameters. For the MIS field it finds that Popularity Parameter (PP) of an article Keywords can predict whether a paper will be highly-cited (top 25% of highly-cited articles) between two to three years after publication and beyond. Furthermore, given the small number of iterations needed for convergence, the methodology can also be used as a baseline method in Big Data (BD) settings for both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) contexts as well.

"Internal selling: Antecedents and the importance of networking ability in converting internal selling behavior into salesperson performance"

Professor(s): Professor Kevin Duane Bradford
Co-authors: Yongmei Liu, Bryan Hochstein, Willy Bolander, and Barton A. Weitz
Accepted at: Journal of Business Research

This study focuses on an intraorganizational sales resource-coordination behavior of salespeople, i.e., internal selling. Taking the organizational politics perspective, we define internal selling as a political behavior, in which salespeople intentionally use interpersonal influence attempts to secure needed resources to support external selling activities. Drawing on the job demands-resources model, we posit that internal selling is a job demand in the sales role, whereas networking ability serves as a job resource that equips salespeople to cope with this demand; thus, when internal selling behavior is coupled with a strong networking ability, sales performance is enhanced. We also examine salespeople’s access to sales resources and social status as antecedents of internal selling. This empirical study is among the first to investigate the antecedents of internal selling and the joint effect of internal selling and networking ability on salesperson effectiveness, thereby providing unique insights for both scholars and practitioners.

"Help Me Help You! Employing the Marketing Mix to Alleviate Experiences of Donor Sacrifice"

Professor(s): Professor Tonya Williams Bradford
Co-authors: Naja Williams Boyd
Accepted at: Journal of Marketing (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

Nonprofit organizations often rely on individuals to execute their mission of addressing unmet societal needs. Indeed, one of the most significant challenges facing such organizations is that of enlisting individuals to provide support through the volunteering of time or donation of money. To address this challenge, prior studies have examined how promotional messages can be leveraged to motivate individuals to support the missions of nonprofit organizations. Yet promotional messages are only one aspect of the marketing mix that may be employed. The present study examines how donor-based nonprofit organizations can employ the marketing mix—product, price, promotion, place, process, and people—to influence the experiences of sacrifice associated with donation. The authors do so through an ethnographic study of individuals participating in living organ donation. First, they identify the manifestation of sacrifice in donation. Next, they define three complementary and interactive types of sacrifice: psychic, pecuniary, and physical. Then, they articulate how the marketing mix can be employed to mitigate experiences of sacrifice that emerge through the donation process. The authors conclude by discussing implications for marketing practice and identifying additional research opportunities for sacrifice in the realm of donation.

"We can fix this! Donor activism for nonprofit supply generation"

Professor(s): Professor Tonya Williams Bradford
Accepted at: Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in society. To fulfill their missions, they require sufficient supply to meet demand. In addressing how nonprofits can work towards meeting the needed demand through donors, the marketing literature focuses primarily on leveraging individual differences, message characteristics, motives, or social norms to secure donor time, talent, or treasure. Other ways in which donors make impactful contributions, however, are less studied. One of these less examined cases is donor activism, a social mechanism by which donors act to increase supply for nonprofits. Through an ethnographic study of donors organizing a Guinness World Records attempt for the most living organ donors gathered together, we investigate the mechanisms underlying donor efforts to positively influence the supply of living donors. Our findings suggest that donation behaviors that increase supply may lead to varying degrees of activism. Managerial implications of these findings are presented with specific suggestions for how donors and nonprofit organizations may interact within consumer movements to support supply generation.

"Perceived Costs versus Actual Benefits of Demographic Self-Disclosure in Online Support Groups"

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-authors: Kelly EunJung Yoon (Merage PhD ’19), Denis Trapido, and Judith J. Prochaska
Accepted at: Journal of Consumer Psychology (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

Millions of U.S. adults join online support groups to attain health goals, but the social ties they form are often too weak to provide the support they need. What impedes the strengthening of ties in such groups? We explore the role of demographic differences in causing the impediment and demographic self-disclosure in removing it. Using a field study of online quit-smoking groups complemented by three lab experiments, we find that members tend to hide demographic differences, concerned about poor social integration that will weaken their ties. However, the self-disclosures of demographic differences that naturally occur during group member discussions actually strengthen their ties, which in turn facilitates attainment of members’ health goals. In other words, social ties in online groups are weak not because members are demographically different, but because they are reluctant to self-disclose their differences. If they do self-disclose, this breeds interpersonal connection, trumping any demographic differences among them. Data from both lab and field about two types of demographic difference – dyad-level dissimilarity and group-level minority status – provide convergent support for our findings.

"Undergraduate support for university smoke-free and vape-free campus policies and student engagement: a quasi-experimental intervention"

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-authors: Elaine Cheung, Catherine M. Crespi, Claudia Perez, Janice E. Huang, and William J. McCarthy
Accepted at: Journal of American College Health

College campuses have policies restricting smoking/vaping on campus. Previous studies involving mostly European-American students showed smoking prevalence declines following implementation of such policies. To evaluate a social media campaign promotive of stronger campus support for an existing campus no-smoking/no-vaping policy where most (75%) of the undergraduates were non-European-American. A demographically comparable university served as a no-intervention control. Target was 200 random intercept surveys at each university during fall 2016, spring 2017. Of 800 respondents, 681 were undergraduates. Baseline and post-intervention surveys assessed awareness of and support for campuswide smoke-free/vape-free policies. Staged smoke-free/vape-free policy violations assessed students’ propensity to intervene in support of the policy. Respondent support for the no-smoking/no-vaping policy did not change. The social media campaign and Policy Ambassadors program did not increase support for the campus no-smoking/no-vaping policy. Most (90%) respondents agreed that the campus no-smoking/no-vaping policy was important for public health.

"Product Fit Uncertainty and Information Provision in a Distribution Channel"

Professor(s): Professor Rajeev Tyagi
Co-author: Monic Sun
Accepted at: Production and Operations Management (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

Consumers of experience goods typically face some uncertainty about the fit between their tastes and the features of products being offered. For example, a consumer may not know how well a stroller, magazine, eye glasses, an electronic gadget, etc., will fit their specific taste. Information technology has given consumers the ability to conduct research online about their potential fit with products before buying, and modern sellers the ability to disseminate product information to consumers. This paper investigates a manufacturer's and retailers' incentives to disclose such product fit information to consumers when the manufacturer sells to consumers through competing retailers. It shows that if disclosure decisions have to be made before the manufacturer sets its wholesale price, then (i) all channel members want to disclose fit information for low-quality products; (ii) no channel member wants to disclose for medium-quality products; and (iii) only the retailers, not the manufacturer, want to disclose for high-quality products. If the manufacturer however commits to a wholesale price before disclosure decisions, then disclosure of fit information will occur only for low-quality products. Regardless of the relative timing of wholesale price and disclosure decisions, any mandatory product-fit disclosure policy can decrease consumer welfare and social surplus, depending on the level of product quality and the degree of retail competition.

"Broadcast and self-reported exposure to court-ordered corrective statements on cigarette harms"

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-authors: David S. Timberlake
Accepted at: Preventive Medicine Reports

In August, 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ordered four tobacco companies to disseminate courtapproved corrective statements on five topics pertaining to health hazards of cigarette smoking. Based on the 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), approximately 50% of U.S. smokers viewed at least one corrective statement via television or newspaper during the first six months of the airings/publications (November, 2017-April, 2018). Using televised gross rating points (GRPs) and cross-sectional data from the 2018 HINTS (n=3,484) and 2019 HINTS (n=3,331), the current study extends previous ones by estimating broadcast reach/frequency and the moderating effect of survey year on smokers’ exposure to a corrective statement. The weighted percentage of participants who viewed a corrective statement was significantly greater in the 2019 versus 2018 HINTS for smokers (64.3% vs. 50.5%, χ21df=5.85, p=.01), but not for non-smokers (39% in 2018/2019, χ21df=.02; p=.88); this differential effect was evidenced by a significant interaction term (OR=2.0(1.2, 3.2), p<.001). This study also revealed that the televised reach of the corrective statements to the U.S. population (43.5 GRPs/43.5%) was comparable to the published estimate from the 2018 HINTS (40.6%). The frequency of exposure to any corrective statement in the first six months of televised airings was only .68 exposures/month, an estimate that does not meet CDC Best Practices. Yet, as evidenced by the significant interaction, it is likely that the addition of messages to tobacco company websites and cigarette package onserts may have contributed to smokers’ greater exposure to a corrective statement.

"The Influence of Objects on Creativity"

Professor(s): Professor Emeritus Alladi Venkatesh
Co-authors: Steven Chen (Merage PhD ’09) and Jennifer Chandler (Merage PhD ’07)
Accepted at: Creativity and Innovation Management

This study is an examination of how objects can influence creativity. Through a qualitative in-depth inquiry involving 22 consumers, the study sheds light on how objects can inform, inspire, and facilitate creativity. Specifically, the findings show that objects can physically inform and facilitate the creative process because of their material properties (i.e., colors, densities, masses, lengths, and shapes) and their embeddedness in object–human interaction networks. Although object agency is initially latent and located in the materiality of objects, it is unlocked during object–human interactions, ultimately enhancing creativity. The findings highlight an overlooked role of objects in creative processes. Further, this study contributes to the existing corpus of creativity research, which attributes creativity mostly to human agency, as rooted in human personality, human social systems, and human collaborations. The study also extends and supports object agency and service-dominant logic discourses.

"Facebook Recruitment: Zip Code Targeting to Improve Diversity in Health Research"

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): Connor Phillips, Douglas Calder, and Judith J. Prochaska
Accepted at: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Facebook’s advertising platform reaches most U.S. households and has been used for health-related research recruitment. The platform allows for advertising segmentation by age, gender, and location; however, does not explicitly allow for targeting by race/ethnicity to facilitate a diverse participant pool. We looked at the efficacy of zip code targeting in Facebook advertising to reach Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos who smoke daily for a quit-smoking social media online study. Zip code targeting in Facebook advertising is an effective way to recruit diverse populations for healthbased interventions. Public concerns around data privacy should be considered regarding effects on recruitment and costs. Audience Network Placement should be avoided. The Facebook Lookalike Audience may not be necessary for recruitment with drawbacks including an unknown algorithm and unclear use of Facebook user data.

“Creating Boundary-Breaking Marketing-Relevant Consumer Research”

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): Simona Botti, Donna Hoffman, Robert Kozinets, Donald R. Lehmann, John G. Lynch, Jr., Deborah J. MacInnis, Vicki G. Morwitz
Accepted at: Journal of Marketing

Consumer research often fails to have broad impact on members of our own discipline, on adjacent disciplines studying related phenomena, and on relevant stakeholders who stand to benefit from the knowledge created by our rigorous research. We propose that impact is limited because consumer researchers have adhered to a set of implicit boundaries or defaults regarding what we study, why we study it, and how we do so. We identify these boundaries and describe how they can be challenged. We show that boundary-breaking marketingrelevant consumer research can impact relevant stakeholders (including academics in our own discipline and allied ones, and a wide range of marketplace actors including business practitioners, policymakers, the media, and society) by detailing five articles and identifying others that have had such influence. Based on these articles, we articulate what researchers can do to break boundaries and enhance the impact of their research. We also indicate why engaging in boundary-breaking work and enhancing the breadth of our influence is good for both individual researchers and the fields of consumer research and marketing.

“The use of web-based support groups versus usual quit-smoking care for men and women 21-59 years old: A protocol for a randomized controlled trial”

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): Douglas Calder (BA ’11 in English), Kevin Delucchi, Connor Phillips, Judith J. Prochaska
Accepted at: Journal of Medical Internet Research Protocols

Existing smoking cessation treatments are challenged by low engagement and high relapse rates, suggesting the need for more innovative, accessible and interactive treatment strategies. Twitter is a web-based platform that allows people to communicate with each other throughout the day right from their phone. This study aims to leverage the social media platform of Twitter for fostering peer-to-peer support to decrease relapse with quitting smoking. Further, the study will compare the effects of co-ed versus women-only groups on women’s success with quitting smoking.

“Harnessing Internal Support to Enhance Customer Relationships: The Role of Networking, Helping, and Allocentrism”

Professor(s): Professor Kevin Duane Bradford
Co-author(s): Yongmei Liu, Yuying Shi, Barton A. Weitz, and Jun Xu
Accepted at: Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice

This research uses social problem theory to examine how salespeople obtain the internal support to address the needs of customers. We propose effectiveness in coordinating internal resources is related to customer relationship quality and subsequent performance. Salespeople can enhance their internal support by engaging in internal networking and helping behaviors. We also introduce allocentrism, a relatively stable, trait-like predisposition to value relationships with others. Allocentrism of salespeople is related to salespeople’s tendency to engage in internal networking and helping behaviors as well as external customer-oriented selling behaviors. The proposed relationships are supported by data collected from surveys of 326 salespeople.

“Are we a perfect match? Roles for market mediators in defining perfect gifts”

Professor(s): Professor Tonya Williams Bradford
Accepted at: Routledge Interpretive Marketing Research

The market permeates much of everyday life, with firms and consumers alike welcoming the interactions. And, the prevalence of the market makes the engagement of market mediators to manage the most intimate aspects of life commonplace. Where engagement with the market is optional for some transactions, there are others where such engagement is necessary and even mandated, as with living organ donation. While transplantation may be perceived as a medical procedure, the laws governing living organ donation in the United States require that individuals gift an organ to another. This chapter considers how the necessitated presence of market mediators influences gift-giving processes, roles, and enactments.

“Restricted Pleasure for Healthy Eating and Food Well-Being”

Professor(s): Professor Tonya Williams Bradford
Co-authors: Sonya A. Grier
Accepted at: Qualitative Market Research

This paper explores the relationship of dietary restriction and food well-being in an under researched population employing a novel but growing approach to transition to healthier eating patterns. This study employs individual interviews of African-American participants in a food detoxification program, a specific form of food restriction used to transition to healthier eating. Results identify how food socialization and food literacy enable individuals to transform their relationship with food and enhance their food well-being (FWB). Unlike prior research that focuses on food as the source of pleasure, this study finds that food is deployed as fuel, and this transition results in pleasure. This research explains how a voluntary transition to healthier eating enables people to pursue FWB and extends the understanding of FWB (Block et al., 2011). In addition, this research contributes novel insights related to transformative consumer research efforts to motivate change. Findings have implications for marketing theory and practice, including the development of social marketing campaigns to support healthy eating patterns, especially for at-risk populations.

“Managerial Metric Use in Marketing Decisions across 16 Countries: A Cultural Perspective”

Professor(s): Imran Currim
Co-author(s): Ofer Mintz (Merage PhD ’11), Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp, and Martijn de Jong
Accepted at: Journal of International Business Studies

Research on metrics is consistently designated a priority by academics and practitioners. However, less is known about how culture and cross-national differences can potentially impact metric use, which is theoretically and managerially limiting. This work develops a model that examines national and organizational cultural antecedents while controlling for the decision setting. Testing the model on data collected from 4,384 managerial decisions from 1,637 firms in 16 countries, reveals both levels of culture are associated with metric use but each has varying effects. Our results enable multinational executives to better understand and increase managerial metric use across different cultures and settings.

“The Characteristics of Transformative Consumer Research and How it Can Contribute to and Enhance Consumer Psychology”

Professor(s): Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): Brennan Davis (Merage PhD ’08)
Accepted at: Journal of Consumer Psychology

Three papers are published in this special section of Journal of Consumer Psychology on Transformative Consumer Research. Each paper offers simple and compelling insights about consumption and well-being based on solid empirical research and theory. The Mende, Nenkov, Salisbury and Scott paper on “Financial Inclusion” determines that disadvantaged consumers who live in banking deserts – which are not serviced by traditional banks – have relatively negative perceptions of traditional banks; but these consumers can be turned around if a bank adopts a communal financial orientation. The Haws, Dallas, Roberto, Liu and Cawley paper on “Any-Size-Same-Price” concludes that consumers are often induced by any-size-same-price offerings to buy oversized beverages, even when calories are posted; but these consumers can be deterred by stoplight warnings. In other words, much more powerful health cues than calories are needed to dampen enthusiasm for oversized beverages when offered at the same price as the smaller sizes. The Stornelli, Pereira and Vann paper on “Visual Perspectives” determines that motivating consumers to pursue health goals with third-person messages – which ask consumers to imagine watching themselves engaged in goal pursuit – can shift focus away from implementation (how will I do it?) toward deliberation (should I do it?), and reduce health goal pursuit if consumers do not strongly self-identify with the health goal.

“Facilitating Adolescent Well-Being: A Review of the Challenges and Opportunities and the Beneficial Roles of Parents, Schools, Neighborhoods and Policymakers”

Professor(s): Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): Jesse R. Catlin (Merage PhD ’12) and Yu Zheng
Accepted at: Journal of Consumer Psychology

Adolescents face exceptional challenges and opportunities that may have a lifelong impact on their consumption and personal and societal well-being. Parents, community members (schools, and neighborhoods), and policymakers play major roles in shaping adolescents and influencing their engagement in consumption behaviors that are either developmentally problematic (e.g., drug use and unhealthy eating) or developmentally constructive (e.g., academic pursuits and extracurricular activities). In this paper, we discuss two main topics: (1) the challenges and opportunities that characterize adolescence, based primarily on research in epidemiology and neuroscience, and (2) the ways that parents, community members, and policymakers can facilitate positive adolescent development, based on research from many disciplines including marketing, psychology, sociology, communications, public health and education. Our goal is to summarize the latest scientific findings that can be used by various stakeholders to help adolescents navigate this turbulent period and become well-adjusted, thriving adults.

“The Performance Effects of Creative Imitation on Original Products: Evidence from Lab and Field Experiments”

Professor(s): Connie Pechmann
Co-author(s): Liangyan Wang, Brian Wu, and Yitong Wang (Merage PhD ’11)
Accepted at: Strategic Management Journal

A market entrant often challenges the incumbent using creative imitation: The entrant creatively combines imitated aspects of the original with its own innovative characteristics to create a distinct offering. Using lab and field experiments to examine creative imitation in China, we find the effects of creative imitations on the originals depend on the creative imitation’s quality. We explore the underlying mechanisms, and show that including a low-quality creative imitation in the retail choice set increases satisfaction with and choice of the original, while a moderate-quality creative imitation does the opposite. Moreover, creative imitation affects consumers’ satisfaction with the original by influencing whether their experience with the original verifies their expectations. Our paper reveals creative imitation effects to help incumbent firms effectively address them.

“Hyperopia and Frugality: Different Motivational Drivers and Yet Similar Effects on Consumer Spending”

Professor(s): Professor Connie Pechmann
Co-authors: Li Pan, Todd Pezzuti, Wei Lu
Accepted at: Journal of Business Research

The effects of hyperopia and frugality on spending have not been directly compared. Moreover, previous research on hyperopia has focused on the avoidance of luxury spending, rather than spending on routine consumer goods. We address these gaps in the literature by comparing how hyperopia and frugality affect monthly spending, and spending on ordinary consumer goods. Our survey indicates that both tendencies relate to lower monthly spending. Our shopping experiment extends these findings by showing that both hyperopic and frugal consumers avoid purchasing higher priced consumer goods when lower priced substitutes are available. Our findings contribute to the literature, which suggests that hyperopic consumers avoid indulgent luxuries, by showing that they also avoid higher priced routine consumer goods and exhibit lower monthly spending, similar to frugal consumers, but for fundamentally different reasons. Hyperopia inhibits spending by lowering the motivation to spend, while frugality inhibits spending by increasing the motivation to save.