High Hopes and Letdowns: the Influence of Self-Esteem on Expectations and Product Failure

Stefanie Rosen, University of South Carolina, USA
Rebecca Naylor, Ohio State University, USA
Cait Poynor, University of Pittsburgh, USA
This research explores how consumers with different levels of self-esteem respond to inferior products and their eventual failure. We find that low self-esteem consumers have higher expectations of lower quality products than do high self-esteem consumers (study 1). These high expectations influence subsequent evaluations of product performance, leading low self-esteem consumers to feel more let down when a lower quality product performs poorly than do high self-esteem consumers (study 2). These findings suggest that consumers may differ dramatically in their responses to product failure and that management of expectations is particularly important when dealing with various levels of self-esteem.
[ to cite ]:
Stefanie Rosen, Rebecca Naylor, and Cait Poynor (2010) ,"High Hopes and Letdowns: the Influence of Self-Esteem on Expectations and Product Failure", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 892-892 .