Social Identity Threat and Consumer Preferences: the Role of Self-Protection

Katherine White, University of Calgary, Canada
Jennifer Argo, University of Alberta, Canada
This research examines the impact of social identity threat on consumer preferences and choices. Across three studies we show the conditions under which consumers alter product preferences and choice behaviors to avoid a threatened aspect of their social identity. Further, we examine important moderators of this tendency including trait self-esteem (study 2) and ingroup identification (study 3). Finally, we demonstrate that the tendency to avoid products associated with a threatened aspect of identity among those low in ingroup identification is associated with a tendency to protect (but not enhance) the self.
[ to cite ]:
Katherine White and Jennifer Argo (2008) ,"Social Identity Threat and Consumer Preferences: the Role of Self-Protection", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 903-904.