Less Is More: Positional Concerns Are Stronger in Inevaluable Domains

Tess Bogaerts, Ghent University, Belgium
Mario Pandelaere, Ghent University, Belgium
Previous research has demonstrated that positional concern (i.e. concern about one’s position relative to a reference group) is stronger in some domains than in others. Two studies show that the level of evaluability of the domain – the extent to which people are able to evaluate outcomes without comparison – is a forceful predictor of whether people have strong positional concerns. People are more likely to be concerned about their position for inevaluable domains than for evaluable domains. Positional concerns for inevaluable domains are particularly stronger for envious people.
[ to cite ]:
Tess Bogaerts and Mario Pandelaere (2011) ,"Less Is More: Positional Concerns Are Stronger in Inevaluable Domains", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 808.