Effects of manipulating antecedent traits on conspicuous consumption tendencies (2018)
AuthorsCulling, Thomasshow all
This study examines the impact of depletion and reinforcement of antecedent traits on two distinct types of conspicuous consumption, bandwagon and snob. This was achieved by undertaking a memory task designed to instill a self-perceived sense of uniqueness or conformity in participants who were found to be high in one of the two antecedent traits of consumer need for uniqueness or consumer susceptibility to normative influence. It was found that depletion of participants’ antecedent trait that they were high in had an effect on conspicuous consumption tendencies, whereas reinforcement did not. The trait depletion findings were in line with previous research in the area. Trait reinforcement may not have had an effect due to the memories elicited having positive connotations, which are not remembered as accurately nor have the emotional impact of negative ones. The present study establishes both consumer need for uniqueness and consumer susceptibility to normative influence not just as antecedent traits to conspicuous consumption but also as situational factors, that are able to be depleted. These findings have applications throughout consumer research.