Undermining the Restorative Potential of Compensatory Consumption: A Product’s Explicit Identity Connection Impedes Self-Repair
L J Shrum,
Darren W DahlEditor,
Linda L PriceEditor and
Derek D RuckerAssociate Editor
Journal of Consumer Research, 2019, vol. 46, issue 1, 119-139
When people experience threats to important aspects of their self-concept (e.g., power, intelligence, sociability), they often compensate by consuming products that symbolize success, mastery, or competence on the threatened self-domain (within-domain compensatory consumption). Our research examines whether such compensatory consumption is effective in repairing the self-concept. Across seven experiments, we show that whether compensatory consumption is effective depends on the extent to which the connection between the compensatory products and the threatened domains is made explicit. When the connections are made explicit (e.g., through product names and marketing slogans), self-repair is impeded, but when the connections are only implicit (product is inherently symbolic of self-threat domain), self-repair can be successful. We further show that these differential effects of product connection explicitness are mediated by rumination: explicit connections induce rumination about the self-threat, which undermines self-repair, whereas implicit connections cause no rumination, facilitating self-repair. Our research provides a reconciliation of conflicting findings on self-repair in previous research, and also shows that despite the differences in efficacy, consumers compensate regardless of whether product connections are implicit or explicit, which has implications for consumer well-being.
Keywords: self-concept; identity; compensatory consumption; materialism; self-threat; self-discrepancy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:46:y:2019:i:1:p:119-139.
Access Statistics for this article
More articles in Journal of Consumer Research from Oxford University Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().