The Morphing Self: Changing Self-Concept As a Response to Threats

Christian Schmid, University of Alberta, Canada
Jennifer Argo, University of Alberta, Canada
This research examines how consumers use possessions to “morph” their self from one identity to a new, redefined identity when faced with a threat. Using multiple threat manipulations to achieve a threat to the self, results demonstrated that when the threat is salient, consumers distance themselves from possessions that were once a central part of their self-concept and incorporate possessions that were originally extraneous to the self into the self to create a new identity. Further, results demonstrate that self-esteem and materialism moderate the effects. Low self-esteem individuals and participants high in materialism were most likely to “morph” their self.
[ to cite ]:
Christian Schmid and Jennifer Argo (2008) ,"The Morphing Self: Changing Self-Concept As a Response to Threats", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 975-976.