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Wine for the Table: Self-Construal, Group Size, and Choice for Self and Others

Eugenia C Wu, Sarah G Moore, Gavan J Fitzsimons, Gita V JoharEditor, Amna KirmaniEditor and Simona BottiAssociate Editor

Journal of Consumer Research, 2019, vol. 46, issue 3, 508-527

Abstract: This research examines how consumers make unilateral decisions on behalf of the self and multiple others, in situations where the chosen option will be shared and consumed jointly by the group—for instance, choosing wine for the table. Results across six studies using three different choice contexts (wine, books, and movies) demonstrate that such choices are shaped by the decision-maker’s self-construal (independent vs. interdependent) and by the size of the group being chosen for (large vs. small). Specifically, we find that interdependent consumers consistently make choices that balance self and others’ preferences, regardless of group size. In contrast, the choices of independent consumers differ depending on group size: for smaller groups, independents make choices that balance self and others’ preferences, while for larger groups, they make choices that more strongly reflect their own preferences. Via mediation and moderation, the data show that differential attention to others underlies the combined effect of self-construal and group size on the joint consumption choices that consumers make for the self and others.

Keywords: self-construal; choice; group size; joint consumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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