How Friends Promote Consumer Spending

Three field studies investigate the interactive influence of a consumer’s agency-communion orientation and the presence of an accompanying friend on the consumer’s spending behaviors. In general, we find that shopping with a friend can be expensive –consumers spend more money when shopping with a friend than if they had shopped alone. This effect however is moderated by agency-communion orientation. More specifically, consumers who are agency-oriented (e.g., males) spend significantly more (Studies 1 and 3) and are more likely to choose an expensive brand (Study 2) when they shop with a friend (versus when they shop alone). This pattern of effects is attenuated for consumers who are communion-oriented. Finally, we show that this interactive effect is moderated by individual differences in self-monitoring such that friends are especially influential for consumers who are high in self-monitoring despite their orientation, albeit the effects occur in opposite directions (i.e., agentic (communal) consumers spend more (less) in the presence of a friend).


Didem Kurt, J. Jeffrey Inman, and Jennifer Argo (2010) ,"How Friends Promote Consumer Spending", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 280-283 .


Didem Kurt, University of Pittsburgh, USA
J. Jeffrey Inman, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Jennifer Argo, University of Alberta, Canada


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

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