Positive Consumer Contamination: Responses to Attractive Others in a Retail Context

Jennifer Argo, University of Alberta, Canada
Darren Dahl, University of British Columbia, Canada
Andrea Morales, Arizona State University
Although previous research has revealed negative consumer contamination effects where one consumer touching a product decreases a subsequent consumer’s evaluations of the touched product, the present research seeks to identify conditions under which contamination may be positive. Across three field experiments we investigate how consumers respond when they see other individuals of varying levels of attractiveness touching the same products they want to purchase. The findings demonstrate that gender and the nature of the contamination moderate the impact of attractiveness on positive consumer contamination. These effects are found to be mediated by positive affect.
[ to cite ]:
Jennifer Argo, Darren Dahl, and Andrea Morales (2008) ,"Positive Consumer Contamination: Responses to Attractive Others in a Retail Context", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 181-184.