Invidious Emotions in Status-Based Social Comparison: Implications For the Status Brand

Jill Sundie, University of Houston, USA
James Ward, Arizona State University, USA
Daniel J. Beal, Rice University, USA
Wynne W. Chin, Stephanie Geiger-Oneto, University of Houston, USA; University of Wyoming, USA
Invidious emotional antecedents (envy, hostility) of schadenfreude--joy experienced when observing another’s downfall--were investigated in a status consumption context. Across 3 studies, status product failure produced schadenfreude and led to intentions to spread negative word-of-mouth (studies 1, 2), and schadenfreude increased negative affect and overall negative attitudes toward the status brand (study 3). Studies 1 and 2 suggest that envy (particularly of social attention) can lead to schadenfreude by transmuting into hostile emotions. These studies suggest that schadenfreude in a consumption context can be precipitated by factors such as degree of target advantage and flaunting of the status product.
[ to cite ]:
Jill Sundie, James Ward, Daniel J. Beal, and Wynne W. Chin, Stephanie Geiger-Oneto (2010) ,"Invidious Emotions in Status-Based Social Comparison: Implications For the Status Brand", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 195-198 .