The Influence of a Mere Social Presence in a Retail Context
While the majority of consumer research that has studied social influences has focused on the impact of an interactive social presence, in this research we demonstrate that a noninteractive social presence (i.e., a mere presence) is also influential. We conduct two field experiments in a retail setting to show when and how a noninteractive social presence that differs in size and proximity impacts consumers' emotions and self-presentation behaviors. In doing so, we refine Social Impact Theory by identifying boundary conditions under which the theory does not hold. (c) 2005 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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