The Signature Effect: Signing Influences Consumption-Related Behavior by Priming Self-Identity
Evidence from four studies shows that signing one’s name influences consumption-related behavior in a predictable manner. Signing acts as a general self-identity prime that facilitates the activation of the particular aspect of a consumer’s self-identity that is afforded by the situation, resulting in behavior congruent with that aspect. Our findings demonstrate that signing causes consumers to become more (less) engaged when shopping in a product domain they (do not) closely identify with (studies 1 and 2), to identify more (less) closely with in(out)-groups (study 3), and to conform more with (diverge more from) in(out)-groups when making consumption choices in preference domains that are relevant to signaling one’s identity (study 4). We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
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