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Proud to Belong or Proudly Different? Lay Theories Determine Contrasting Effects of Incidental Pride on Uniqueness Seeking

Xun (Irene) Huang, Ping Dong and Anirban Mukhopadhyay

Journal of Consumer Research, 2014, vol. 41, issue 3, 697 - 712

Abstract: This research examines how incidental pride may increase consumers' tendency to seek uniqueness, depending on how they attribute the pride-inducing experience. Specifically, people who attribute their felt pride to personal traits (i.e., hubristic pride) are more likely to prefer unique options in unrelated situations, compared to tho'se who attribute pride to effort (i.e., authentic pride). This effect is driven by a heightened need for uniqueness (studies 1-3). Importantly, consumers' lay theories of achievement determine these contrasting attributions: consumers who hold an entity (vs. incremental) theory tend to attribute their felt pride to their traits (vs. efforts), and this motivates them to seek uniqueness (studies 4-5). Consumers who feel proud due to effort, but believe the effort was special to themselves, seek similarly high levels of uniqueness as those who attribute pride to their traits--which demonstrates further evidence for our proposed process (study 6). Implications and possible extensions are discussed.

Date: 2014
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