Sex, Food, and the Hunger For Distinction

Similarity and distinction play important roles in identity processes and decision making, but little work has examined the motive of distinctiveness per se. While most work treats distinction as a source of self-esteem, other research argues it’s a fundamental need. Five studies explore the nature of distinctiveness, illustrating that it shares kinship with basic motives like mating. Activating basic drives (e.g., sexual desire) makes distinctive options more desirable, and distinctiveness itself influences the desirability of other rewards. Consistent with our perspective, these effects are moderated by individual and cultural differences in the desirability of distinction, and satiation of activated motivational states.


Jonah Berger and Baba Shiv (2010) ,"Sex, Food, and the Hunger For Distinction", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 276-279 .


Jonah Berger, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Baba Shiv, Stanford University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Testing Theories of Goal Progress within Online Learning

Tong Lu, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Eric Bradlow, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Wesley Hutchinson, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Read More


F6. Can CSR Save a Firm From a Crisis? A Role of Gratitude in the Buffering Effect of CSR on Consumer Vindictive Behavior.

Junghyun Kim, NEOMA Business School
Taehoon Park, University of South Carolina, USA
Myungsuh Lim, Sangji University

Read More


When Stigma Does Good: Accentuating Certain Aspects of Stigma Enhances Effectiveness of Mental Health Messages

Chethana Achar, University of Washington, USA
Nidhi Agrawal, University of Washington, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.