Reconnection Through Consumption: Socially Excluded People Adapt Consumption Patterns to Serve Affiliation Needs

Nicole Mead, Florida State University
Kathleen Vohs, University of Minnesota
Roy Baumeister, Florida State University
Catherine Rawn, University of British Columbia, Canada
Humans have a fundamental need to affiliate with others and people might use consumption to accomplish this goal. Following this logic, three experiments tested whether socially excluded people were more likely than others to consume in a way that could enhance affiliation. Activating affiliation motives increased willingness to buy a product symbolic of group loyalty (Experiment 1), increased willingness to pay for conspicuous consumption products but not for utilitarian products (Experiment 2), and led people to shift consumption preferences to those predictive of acceptance (Experiment 3). Overall, affiliation motives produced consumption behaviors consistent with prediction from an evolutionary perspective.
[ to cite ]:
Nicole Mead, Kathleen Vohs, Roy Baumeister, and Catherine Rawn (2008) ,"Reconnection Through Consumption: Socially Excluded People Adapt Consumption Patterns to Serve Affiliation Needs", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 225-228.