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Self-Affirmation through the Choice of Highly Aesthetic Products

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  • Claudia Townsend
  • Sanjay Sood
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    Abstract

    Just as good looks bestow an unconscious “beauty premium” on people, high aesthetics bestows an unrecognized benefit on consumer goods. Specifically, choosing a product with good design affirms the consumer’s sense of self. Choice of a highly aesthetic product was compared with choice of products superior on other attributes including function, brand, and hedonics to show that only aesthetics influences a consumer’s personal values. In study 1 a prior self-affirming task leads to a decrease in choice share of a highly aesthetic option. Studies 2 and 3 mimic prior research on self-affirmation with, however, choice of a highly aesthetic product replacing a traditional self-affirmation manipulation. Choosing a product with good design resulted in increased openness to counter-attitudinal arguments and reduced propensity to escalate commitment toward a failing course of action. There are numerous implications of this form of self-affirmation, from public policy to retail therapy.

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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/663775
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/663775
    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): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 415 - 428

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/663775

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

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