Not in My Backyard: the Influence of Arbitrary Boundaries on Consumer Choice

Jeff Galak, New York University, USA
Justin Kruger, New York University, USA
Paul Rozin, University of Pennsylvania, USA
The present research suggests that symbolic boundaries such as political borders act as psychological buffers. Participants in one study were less troubled by the threat of contamination from a hypothetical nuclear power plant if it was on the other side of a state border (holding constant distance), and consumers in another study were less likely to travel to a virtual store if they had to cross a town border in the process. Just as symbolic connection can convey the feeling of contamination (Morales and Fitzsimons, 2007; Rozin and Nemeroff, 2002), so too can symbolic disconnection serve as a psychological buffer.
[ to cite ]:
Jeff Galak, Justin Kruger, and Paul Rozin (2009) ,"Not in My Backyard: the Influence of Arbitrary Boundaries on Consumer Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 79-81.