Going Along Versus Going Alone: When Fear and Romance Alter the Influence of Reference Groups

Two experiments examined how being in fearful or romantic states influenced how consumer preferences were affected by reference group information. Fear increased people’s tendency to conform. In contrast, although romantic states led women to conform more, it produced nonconformity in men. Specifically, romantic motives led men to go against the group when nonconformity made them unique (but not part of the minority), and when the topic was subjective versus objective, meaning nonconformists couldn’t be incorrect. Findings are consistent with evolutionary theories of motivation and emotion, and have practical and theoretical implications for research on emotion, word-of-mouth, reference groups, and innovation.


Vladas Griskevicius, Noah Goldstein, Chad Mortensen, Robert Cialdini, and Douglas Kenrick (2007) ,"Going Along Versus Going Alone: When Fear and Romance Alter the Influence of Reference Groups", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 191.


Vladas Griskevicius, Arizona State University
Noah Goldstein, Arizona State University
Chad Mortensen, Arizona State University
Robert Cialdini, Arizona State University
Douglas Kenrick, Arizona State University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

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