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Ideals and Oughts and the Reliance on Affect versus Substance in Persuasion


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  • Pham, Michel Tuan
  • Avnet, Tamar
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    Motivation research distinguishes two types of goals: (a) ideals, which relate to people's hopes, wishes, and aspirations, and (b) oughts, which relate to people's duties, obligations, and responsibilities. We propose that, in persuasion, the accessibility of ideals increases consumers' reliance on their subjective affective responses to the ad relative to the substance of the message, whereas the accessibility of oughts increases consumers' reliance on the substance of the message relative to their subjective affective responses. This phenomenon is accompanied by a relative change in the perceived diagnosticity of the two types of information under accessible ideals versus oughts a change that can be related to the distinct modes of self-regulation that ideals and oughts trigger. The phenomenon appears to be unrelated to the kind of change in depth-of-processing posited by the Elaboration Likelihood Model and the Heuristic-Systematic Model. Copyright 2004 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 4 (March)
    Pages: 503-18

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:30:y:2004:i:4:p:503-18

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    Cited by:
    1. Leder, Susanne & Mannetti, Lucia & Hölzl, Erik & Kirchler, Erich, 2010. "Regulatory fit effects on perceived fiscal exchange and tax compliance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 271-277, April.
    2. Luqiong Tong & Yuhuang Zheng & Ping Zhao, 2013. "Is money really the root of all evil? The impact of priming money on consumer choice," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 119-129, June.
    3. Vladimir Melnyk & Erica Herpen & Arnout Fischer & Hans Trijp, 2013. "Regulatory fit effects for injunctive versus descriptive social norms: Evidence from the promotion of sustainable products," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 191-203, June.
    4. Kelly Haws & William Bearden & Utpal Dholakia, 2012. "Situational and trait interactions among goal orientations," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 47-60, March.
    5. B. Weijters & M. Geuens & N. Schillewaert, 2008. "The Stability of Individual Response Styles," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/547, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. Florack, Arnd & Keller, Johannes & Palcu, Johanna, 2013. "Regulatory focus in economic contexts," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 127-137.
    7. Pham, Michel Tuan & Avnet, Tamar, 2009. "Contingent reliance on the affect heuristic as a function of regulatory focus," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 267-278, March.
    8. Zhang, Jason Q. & Craciun, Georgiana & Shin, Dongwoo, 2010. "When does electronic word-of-mouth matter? A study of consumer product reviews," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 1336-1341, December.
    9. Gino, Francesca & Margolis, Joshua D., 2011. "Bringing ethics into focus: How regulatory focus and risk preferences influence (Un)ethical behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 145-156, July.
    10. Simona Botti & Susan Broniarczyk & Gerald Häubl & Ron Hill & Yanliu Huang & Barbara Kahn & Praveen Kopalle & Donald Lehmann & Joe Urbany & Brian Wansink, 2008. "Choice under restrictions," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 183-199, December.
    11. Richard, Erin M. & Diefendorff, James M., 2011. "Self-regulation during a single performance episode: Mood-as-information in the absence of formal feedback," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 99-110, May.
    12. Cheng, Yin-Hui & Yen, HsiuJu Rebecca & Chuang, Shih-Chieh & Chang, Chia-Jung, 2013. "Product option framing under the influence of a promotion versus prevention focus," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 402-413.
    13. Poels, Karolien & Dewitte, Siegfried, 2008. "Hope and self-regulatory goals applied to an advertising context: Promoting prevention stimulates goal-directed behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(10), pages 1030-1040, October.
    14. Chung-Chau Chang & Bo-Chi Lin & Shin-Shin Chang, 2011. "The relative advantages of benefit overlap versus category similarity in brand extension evaluation: The moderating role of self-regulatory focus," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 391-404, November.
    15. Tine Bock & Patrick Kenhove, 2010. "Consumer Ethics: The Role of Self-Regulatory Focus," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(2), pages 241-255, December.


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