Hot Wheels, Warm Hearts: the Effect of Temperature Metaphors on Product Replacement Intentions

Jesse Chandler, University of Michigan, USA
Lauren Szczurek, Stanford University, USA
Norbert Schwarz, University of Michigan, USA
Temperature is often used to describe sociality. Individuals described as “warm” are perceived as more popular, sociable, and humorous than individuals described as “cold”. Metaphorical warmth does not carry these connotations in a non-social context. Accordingly, we find a strong influence of temperature metaphors on consumers’ product replacement intentions, but only when consumers are primed to think of products in anthropomorphic terms. In this case, they are less willing to replace metaphorically “warm” products than metaphorically “cold” products. Implications for anthropomorphic thought and the use of metaphors in consumer decision making are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Jesse Chandler, Lauren Szczurek, and Norbert Schwarz (2010) ,"Hot Wheels, Warm Hearts: the Effect of Temperature Metaphors on Product Replacement Intentions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 85-88 .