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Consuming together (versus separately) makes the heart grow fonder

Author

Listed:
  • Ximena Garcia-Rada

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Lalin Anik

    (University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business)

  • Dan Ariely

    (Duke University)

Abstract

Across three studies, we investigate how consumers in romantic relationships make decisions when choosing an item to share with their partner. We show that consumers will forgo their preferred alternative for an option that is more aligned with the preferences of their partner when consuming the same item together vs. separately. We theorize and show that when consuming together (vs. separately), consumers’ purchase motivation shifts from being utilitarian (e.g., satisfying one’s hunger) to hedonic (e.g., having an enjoyable evening). Consequently, when consuming together (vs. separately), consumers weigh more highly their partner’s affective reactions to the item and overall experience—leading them to pick a less preferred option in an effort to please their partner. In sum, we provide a framework that contributes novel insight into the trade-offs consumers make between their preferences and the preferences of others.

Suggested Citation

  • Ximena Garcia-Rada & Lalin Anik & Dan Ariely, 2019. "Consuming together (versus separately) makes the heart grow fonder," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 27-43, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:30:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11002-019-09479-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11002-019-09479-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Polman, Evan & Wu, Kaiyang, 2020. "Decision making for others involving risk: A review and meta-analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).

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