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Consumers believe that products work better for others

Authors
  • Polman, Evan
  • Ziano, Ignazio
  • Wu, Kaiyang
  • Van Kerckhove, Anneleen
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/jcr/ucab048
OAI: oai:archive.ugent.be:8743355
Source
Ghent University Institutional Archive
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

Consumers tend to see themselves in a positive light, yet we present evidence that they are pessimistic about whether they will receive a product’s benefits. In 15 studies (N¼6,547; including nine preregistered), we found that consumers believe that product efficacy is higher for others than it is for themselves. For example, consumers believe that consuming a sports drink (to satisfy thirst), medicine (to relieve pain), an online class (to learn something new), or an adult coloring book (to inspire creativity) will have a greater effect on others than on themselves. We show that this bias holds across many kinds of products and judgmenttargets, and inversely correlates with factors such as product familiarity, product usefulness, and relationship closeness with judgment-targets. Moreover, we find this bias stems from consumers’ beliefs they are more unique and less malleable than others, and that it alters the choices people make for others. We conclude by discussing implications for research on gift-giving, advice-giving, usership, and interpersonal social, health, and financial choices.

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