Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence and Identity: an Examination of the Underlying Relationships in Korea

ABSTRACT - Both psychologists and marketers believe that the influence of others is an important determinant of an individual’s behavior (e.g., Abrams 1994; Bearden, Netemeyer, and Teel 1989; Lascu, Bearden, and Rose 1995; Terry and Hogg 1996). Consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence (CSII), developed by Bearden et al. (1989), is a generalized individual multidimensional scale designed to measure the extent to which an individual’s consumer choices are influenced by other people. The CSII scale contains two dimensions: an informational component and a normative component. The normative component of CSII is particularly interesting to marketers as it represents an individual’s tendency to conform in the consumer behavioral context.



Citation:

Fredric Kropp, Anne M. Lavack, David H. Silvera, and Bong Jin Cho (2002) ,"Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence and Identity: an Examination of the Underlying Relationships in Korea", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Ramizwick and Tu Ping, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 293-294.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2002      Pages 293-294

CONSUMER SUSCEPTIBILITY TO INTERPERSONAL INFLUENCE AND IDENTITY: AN EXAMINATION OF THE UNDERLYING RELATIONSHIPS IN KOREA

Fredric Kropp, Monterey Institute of International Studies, U.S.A.

Anne M. Lavack, University of Regina, Canada

David H. Silvera, The University of TromsĀ°, Norway

Bong Jin Cho, Keimyung University, Korea

ABSTRACT -

Both psychologists and marketers believe that the influence of others is an important determinant of an individual’s behavior (e.g., Abrams 1994; Bearden, Netemeyer, and Teel 1989; Lascu, Bearden, and Rose 1995; Terry and Hogg 1996). Consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence (CSII), developed by Bearden et al. (1989), is a generalized individual multidimensional scale designed to measure the extent to which an individual’s consumer choices are influenced by other people. The CSII scale contains two dimensions: an informational component and a normative component. The normative component of CSII is particularly interesting to marketers as it represents an individual’s tendency to conform in the consumer behavioral context.

This exploratory study examines interrelationships in Korea between CSII and two conceptually related constructsBvalues, using the List of Values (LOV; Kahle 1983), and collective self-esteem (CSE), using Luhtanen and Crocker’s (1992) scale.

Values are "enduring beliefs that a particular mode of behavior or end-state of existence is prefeable to opposite modes of behavior or end-state" (Rokeach 1973, p. 5). Most academic marketing research on values over the past decade has used LOV since it is more parsimonious than other approaches and has acceptable psychometric properties (Kahle 1991; Shoham, Kahle, Kropp & Rose 1996). LOV assesses the importance to individuals of nine values (sense of belonging, fun and enjoyment in life, warm relationships with others, self-fulfillment, being well respected, excitement, security, self respect, and sense of accomplishment).

Collective self esteem (CSE) is a multidimensional global measure of social or collective identity. The CSE scale, developed by Luhtanen and Crocker (1992), has four dimensions: membership esteem, private collective self-esteem, public collective self-esteem, and importance to identity.

Method

As part of a larger cross-cultural study, a ten-page questionnaire in the Korean language was administered to 196 students in the business school of a major university in Korea. Within the Korean sample, the mean age of the students is 23.1 years, with 90% between the ages of 20 and 26. The sample includes 94 males (48%) and 102 females (52%).

Measures

Values (LOV). The List of Values (LOV) was used to measure the individual values of the respondents. Using nine-point Likert-like scales (1="important to me" to 9="most important to me"), respondents rated nine value statements, identifying how important each value was in their lives.

Collective Self-Esteem (CSE). Separate indices were developed for each of the four dimensions described by Luhtanen and Crocker (1992). They are membership esteem (mean=5.04, std. dev.=.92, alpha=0.68), private collective self-esteem (mean=5.04, std. dev.=.92, alpha=0.79), public collective self-esteem (mean=4.94, std. dev.=1.03, alpha=0.77), and importance to identity (mean=4.84, std. dev.=.97, alpha=0.59). Except for importance to identity, all of the sub-dimensions meet the 0.60 Cronbach’s alpha criteria established by Nunnally (1979) for exploratory research.

Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence (CSII). A scale for the normative component of CSII was developed by combining the normative items of the CSII scale developed by Bearden, Netemeyer, and Teel (1989). The mean for the seven-point scale is 3.96, with a standard deviation of 0.95. The Cronbach’s alpha for the scale is 0.82, exceeding the 0.70 criteria for an established scale.

Major Findings

There were differences in four of the nine possible values in the LOV for high versus low conformers in Korea. Those scoring high in the normative component of CSII place a higher value on being well respected (meanHigh-CSII=7.33) than low conformers (meanLow-CSII=6.64, p=.04). Those scoring high in the normative component of CSII also place a higher value on fun and enjoyment in life (meanHigh-CSII=7.72, meanLow-CSII=6.89, p=0.01), security (meanHigh-CSII=7.59, meanLow-CSII=6.89, p=0.05) and sense of accomplishment (meanHigh-CSII=7.72, meanLow-CSII=6.86, p=0.02). The differences in these three values make sense in light of the Korean cultural context. Even though substantial cultural changes have occurred over the last decade, Korea is considered to be one of the most collectivist and uncertainty avoidant countries in the developed world (see Hofstede 1992).

In addition, those who are more subject to normative influences place a higher value on external values (meanHigh-CSII=7.41) than those who are less subject to normative influences (meanLow-CSII=6.89, p=.04). As external values require the real or imagined presence and/or approval of others, these results make intuitive sense.

There were no differences in any of the four dimensions of collective self-esteem between the two normative influence groups. There were, however, two interesting differences in individual scale items. These items reinforce the global nature of social identity associated with the normative component of CSII.

REFERENCES

Abrams, Dominic (1994), "Social Self-Regulation," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20(5), 473-483.

Bearden, William O., Richard G. Netemeyer, and Jesse E. Teel (1989), "Measurement of Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence," Journal of Consumer Research, 15(4), 473-481.

Kahle, Lynn R. (ed.) (1983), Social Values and Social Change: Adaptation to Life in America, New York: Praeger.

Kahle, Lynn R. (1991), "Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Consumer Value Research," presentation at Workshop on Values and Lifestyle Research in Marketing, Brussels, Belgium, October, 1991.

Lascu, Dana-Nicoleta, William O. Bearden, and Randall L. Rose (1995), "Norm Extremity and Interpersonal Influences on Consumer Conformity," Journal of Business Research, 32(3), 201-212.

Luhtanen, Riia and Jennifer Crocker (1992), "A Collective Self-Esteem Scale: Self-Evaluation of One’s Social Identity," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 302-318.

Nunnally, Jum C. (1979), Psychometric Theory 2nd edition, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Rokeach, Milton (1973), The Nature of Human Values, New York: Free Press.

Shoham, Aviv, Lynn R. Kahle, Fredric Kropp, and Gregory M. Rose (1996), "Self Concept and the List of Values," presented at the Society for Consumer Psychology, Hilton Head, SC.

Terry, Deborah J. and Michael A. Hogg (1996), "Group Norms and the Attitude-Behaviour Relationship: A Role for Group Identification," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22(8), 776-793.

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Authors

Fredric Kropp, Monterey Institute of International Studies, U.S.A.
Anne M. Lavack, University of Regina, Canada
David H. Silvera, The University of Troms°, Norway
Bong Jin Cho, Keimyung University, Korea,



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2002



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