Social Information in the Retail Environment: The Importance of Consumption Alignment, Referent Identity, and Self-Esteem
This research focuses on understanding when low body esteem consumers are most likely to engage in negative social comparisons and examines how this process influences product evaluations. In a series of three studies, we find that two pieces of social information are needed for negative comparisons in a retail environment to occur: (1) an attractive social referent must be actively consuming (i.e., wearing) the product and (2) the consumer must also be actively consuming (i.e., wearing) the product. If only one of these conditions holds, there is no alignment in consumption, and a negative comparison does not occur. Importantly, we also show that the identity of the social referent is critical to these effects. By identifying key factors that determine when comparative information will influence consumers, this research highlights how marketing strategies impact the consumer inside and outside of the retail environment.
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:10.1086/660918. 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.