Ptolemy Vs. Copernicus: Self-Construal and Social Consumption

How do consumers choose for others and respond to making such choices? In the domain of social consumption, independent consumers have a Ptolemaic self-focus, while interdependent consumers have a Copernican other-focus. Independents care less about others’ choice outcomes, incorrectly predict others’ choices, and are poorly calibrated about their preferences, yet are more willing to choose for others. Only when their independence is threatened or the decision is high stakes do independents focus on others. However, while a Ptolemaic focus causes a lack of sensitivity to others, this self-focus protects against the negative emotional consequences than can occur during social consumption.


Sarah G. Moore and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (2009) ,"Ptolemy Vs. Copernicus: Self-Construal and Social Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 744-745.


Sarah G. Moore, Duke University, USA
Gavan J. Fitzsimons, Duke University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

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