The Morphing Self: Changing Self-Concept As a Response to Threats

Christian Schmid, University of Alberta, Canada
Jennifer Argo, University of Alberta, Canada
We examine how consumers use possessions to “morph” their self from one identity to a new, redefined identity when faced with a threat. Using mortality salience manipulations to achieve a threat to the self, results demonstrated that when the threat is salient, consumers distance themselves from possessions that were once a central part of self-concept and incorporate possessions that were originally extraneous to the self into the self to create a new identity. Further, results demonstrate that material values play an important role in moderating the effects. Participants high in material values showed a higher propensity in “morphing” their self.
[ to cite ]:
Christian Schmid and Jennifer Argo (2010) ,"The Morphing Self: Changing Self-Concept As a Response to Threats", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 254-258 .