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Implicit Self-Referencing: The Effect of Nonvolitional Self-Association on Brand and Product Attitude

  • Andrew W. Perkins
  • Mark R. Forehand
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    In three experiments, nonvolitional self-association is shown to improve implicit attitude, self-reported attitude, purchase intention, and product choice for both product categories and fictional brands. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that arbitrary categorization of self-related content with novel stimuli improved evaluations by creating new self-object associations in memory and that the influence of self-association is moderated by implicit self-esteem. Experiment 3 shows that such implicit self-referencing does not require conscious self-categorization and occurs even when novel stimuli are simply presented in close proximity to self-related content. In this final experiment, subjects responded more positively to brands featured in banner ads on a personal social networking webpage than when featured on an equivalent nonpersonal social networking page. This automatic self-association effect was mediated by the degree to which the advertising prompted an implicit association between the self and the advertised brands.

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

    Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 142 - 156

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/662069
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