The Self-Activation Effect of Advertisements: Ads Can Affect Whether and How Consumers Think about the Self
Comparing consumption with nonconsumption situations, we propose and test the self-activation effect of advertisements, which holds that attractiveness-relevant products in advertisements can increase consumer self-activation and lower consumer self-evaluation. Four experiments provide support for this effect by showing that after viewing advertised beauty-enhancing products, but not advertised problem-solving products, thoughts about the self are more salient and self-evaluations are lower, compared with viewing the same products outside of an advertisement context. The findings hold for different products and different manipulations. We also present evidence for the mediating role of appearance self-discrepancy activation as a potential mechanism underlying the effect. The findings suggest that advertisements for attractiveness-relevant products may at times constitute social comparison standards, with which consumers compare themselves.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/657430. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.