The authors propose that increased attention that consumers pay to themselves promotes relative reliance on affective feelings in making decisions. This hypothesis was tested in a variety of consumption domains and decision tasks, including real-life, consequential charitable donations. Consistent support from five experiments with more than 1,770 participants shows that (a) valuations of the decision outcome increase when consumers with high (low) self-focus adopt a feeling-based (reason-based) strategy. The hypothesized effect of self-focus on relative reliance on feelings in decision making is (b) moderated by self-construal. Further, greater attention to the self (c) increases evaluations of products that are affectively superior but (d) decreases evaluations of products that are affectively inferior, and (e) exerts little influence on evaluations of products that are less affective in nature (i.e., utilitarian products). Finally, self-focused attention (f) amplifies a decision bias typically attributed to feeling-based judgments, known as scope-insensitivity bias, in a hypothetical laboratory study and in a real-life, consequential charitable donation. Theoretical and marketing implications are discussed.
affect, feeling, judgment, self, self-focus
Journal of Marketing Research
American Marketing Association
CHANG, Hannah H. and HUNG, Iris W..
Mirror, mirror on the retail wall: Self-focused attention promotes reliance on feelings in consumer decisions. (2018). Journal of Marketing Research. 1-62. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: https://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5788
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