To Defend Or to Improve, That Is a Question: Self Views and Evaluations of Self Improvement Products

Fang Wan, University of Manitoba, Canada
Pingping Qiu, University of Manitoba, Canada
Darren Dahl, University of British Columbia, Canada
This research examines whether activating self-deficiency is an effective way to promote Self Improvement Products (SIP). We argue a motivation to restore a positive self-view when self is threatened can trigger two competing goals—a self-defending goal and a self-improvement goal. If a self-defending goal is activated, consumers focus on current state and resort to cognitive reappraisal such as denigration of SIPs. Alternatively, they resort to external means such as SIPs to restore self-image if a self-improvement goal is activated by advertising appeals focusing on hope, potentials and possibilities. Findings of three experimental studies supported our propositions.
[ to cite ]:
Fang Wan, Pingping Qiu, and Darren Dahl (2010) ,"To Defend Or to Improve, That Is a Question: Self Views and Evaluations of Self Improvement Products", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 582-583 .