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When Your World Must Be Defended: Choosing Products to Justify the System

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Author Info

  • Keisha M. Cutright
  • Eugenia C. Wu
  • Jillian C. Banfield
  • Aaron C. Kay
  • Gavan J. Fitzsimons
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    Abstract

    Consumers are often strongly motivated to view themselves as part of a legitimate and fair external system. Our research focuses on how individuals adopt distinct ways of defending their system when it is threatened and, in particular, how this is revealed in their consumption choices. We find that although individuals differ in how confident they are in the legitimacy of their system, they do not differ in their motivation to defend the system when it is threatened. Instead, they simply adopt different methods of defense. Specifically, when an important system is (verbally) attacked, individuals who are the least confident in the legitimacy of the system seek and appreciate consumption choices that allow them to indirectly and subtly defend the system. Conversely, individuals who are highly confident in the system reject indirect opportunities of defense and seek consumption choices that allow them to defend the system in direct and explicit ways.

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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/658469
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658469
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 62 - 77

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/658469

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Sweetin, Vernon H. & Knowles, Lynette L. & Summey, John H. & McQueen, Kand S., 2013. "Willingness-to-punish the corporate brand for corporate social irresponsibility," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1822-1830.

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