Price Comparisons As Information About Personal Competence and Relational Value: the Influence on Perceived Fairness

Lindsay McShane, Queens University, Canada
Laurence Ashworth, Queens University, Canada
As companies increasingly adopt dynamic pricing policies, it is not uncommon for consumers to pay different prices for the same product. Fairness research indicates that not all of these price discrepancies are equally unfair. We argue that one of the reasons that certain price discrepancies may be considered particularly unfair is because they threaten important aspects of consumers’ self-concept. Specifically, to the extent that a price inequity conveys threatening information about consumers’ competence and/or relational value, we expect the consumer to perceive the situation as more unfair. We find support for the exacerbating effects of both threats to personal competence and threats to relational value on perceived (un)fairness.
[ to cite ]:
Lindsay McShane and Laurence Ashworth (2011) ,"Price Comparisons As Information About Personal Competence and Relational Value: the Influence on Perceived Fairness", 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: 841-842.