Monster Or Motivator? Understanding and Taming Consumer Envy

While a vast literature has depicted the negative consequences of envy, recent work in economics and management also suggests that envy can be a positive, motivating force. How will envy impact consumers, and can these effects be anything but damaging? Three studies explore ways in which envy’s typical malignant face can be transformed into a less damaging influence both with regard to interpersonal hostility and product valuation. Specifically, we find that self-esteem and one’s sense of control over future opportunities drive the extent to which envy acts as a monster or a motivator in a consumer context.


Cait Poynor, Darren Dahl, and Gerald Gorn (2010) ,"Monster Or Motivator? Understanding and Taming Consumer Envy", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 195-198 .


Cait Poynor, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Darren Dahl, University of British Columbia, Canada
Gerald Gorn, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

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