The Surprising Influencers: How the Inferred Attributes of Observed Consumers Shape Observer Consumers’ Buying Intentions

Edith Shalev, New York University
Vicki Morwitz, New York University
The current paper examines how surprising attributes of observed consumers influence the purchase intentions of other (observing) consumers. We hypothesize that when a non-typical consumer owns a product we don’t and her ownership suggests she outperforms us on a desired attribute, our self esteem is threatened. In response to this threat we are more likely to purchase the product in question. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate this effect with two product (an innovative MP3 player and an organic sandwich).
[ to cite ]:
Edith Shalev and Vicki Morwitz (2008) ,"The Surprising Influencers: How the Inferred Attributes of Observed Consumers Shape Observer Consumers’ Buying Intentions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 996-996.