Feeling economically stuck: The effect of perceived economic mobility and socioeconomic status on variety seeking

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Five studies provide converging evidence for the joint effect of perceived economic mobility and socioeconomic status (SES) on compensatory behavior, such that low SES consumers who perceive low economic mobility (i.e., economically stuck consumers) seek more variety than other consumers. We trace this effect to these consumers' desire to compensate for their low sense of personal control. Furthermore, we show that these consumers' variety-seeking tendency disappears when their sense of control is boosted by other means or when the more varied option is not associated with a sense of control. Alternative explanations based on instrumental benefits, reactance, and affect were tested and did not account for the effect. Thus, the current research provides fresh insights to consumer research by contributing to the literature on compensatory behavior, variety seeking, and SES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberucx091
Pages (from-to)1141-1156
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • Choice
  • Compensatory behavior
  • Control
  • Perceived economic mobility
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Variety seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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