Identity threats, compensatory consumption, and working memory capacity: How feeling threatened leads to heightened evaluations of identity-relevant products

Nicole Verrochi Coleman, Patti Williams, Andrea Ketcham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite abundant work documenting consumers’ reliance on symbolic self-completion after experiencing a self-discrepancy, surprisingly little research has investigated the underlying psychological processes that drive this type of compensatory consumption. This article addresses this critical gap, demonstrating that self-discrepancies triggered by identity threats reduce working memory capacity (WMC), and these reductions in WMC mediate compensatory consumption. Consumers process identity-relevant products more positively than neutral products, establishing a causal chain between self-threats, WMC, and compensatory consumption. In addition, identity-consistent experiences facilitate increases in WMC. Importantly, by utilizing negative emotions as the source of self-threat, this article also demonstrates that identity-inconsistent emotions can serve as a source of threat that is not only impactful, but also easily manipulated by managers through advertisements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-118
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

threat
evaluation
emotion
manager
Working Memory Capacity
Evaluation
Threat
Working memory
experience
Emotion
Discrepancy
Reliance
Causal
Managers
Completion
Psychological
Negative emotions

Keywords

  • Compensatory consumption
  • Emotions
  • Identity threat
  • Working memory capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Identity threats, compensatory consumption, and working memory capacity : How feeling threatened leads to heightened evaluations of identity-relevant products. / Coleman, Nicole Verrochi; Williams, Patti; Ketcham, Andrea.

In: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 46, No. 1, 01.06.2019, p. 99-118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f7dbd7b1bec749888d118d8032eddab5,
title = "Identity threats, compensatory consumption, and working memory capacity: How feeling threatened leads to heightened evaluations of identity-relevant products",
abstract = "Despite abundant work documenting consumers’ reliance on symbolic self-completion after experiencing a self-discrepancy, surprisingly little research has investigated the underlying psychological processes that drive this type of compensatory consumption. This article addresses this critical gap, demonstrating that self-discrepancies triggered by identity threats reduce working memory capacity (WMC), and these reductions in WMC mediate compensatory consumption. Consumers process identity-relevant products more positively than neutral products, establishing a causal chain between self-threats, WMC, and compensatory consumption. In addition, identity-consistent experiences facilitate increases in WMC. Importantly, by utilizing negative emotions as the source of self-threat, this article also demonstrates that identity-inconsistent emotions can serve as a source of threat that is not only impactful, but also easily manipulated by managers through advertisements.",
keywords = "Compensatory consumption, Emotions, Identity threat, Working memory capacity",
author = "Coleman, {Nicole Verrochi} and Patti Williams and Andrea Ketcham",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/jcr/ucy060",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "46",
pages = "99--118",
journal = "Journal of Consumer Research",
issn = "0093-5301",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Identity threats, compensatory consumption, and working memory capacity

T2 - How feeling threatened leads to heightened evaluations of identity-relevant products

AU - Coleman, Nicole Verrochi

AU - Williams, Patti

AU - Ketcham, Andrea

PY - 2019/6/1

Y1 - 2019/6/1

N2 - Despite abundant work documenting consumers’ reliance on symbolic self-completion after experiencing a self-discrepancy, surprisingly little research has investigated the underlying psychological processes that drive this type of compensatory consumption. This article addresses this critical gap, demonstrating that self-discrepancies triggered by identity threats reduce working memory capacity (WMC), and these reductions in WMC mediate compensatory consumption. Consumers process identity-relevant products more positively than neutral products, establishing a causal chain between self-threats, WMC, and compensatory consumption. In addition, identity-consistent experiences facilitate increases in WMC. Importantly, by utilizing negative emotions as the source of self-threat, this article also demonstrates that identity-inconsistent emotions can serve as a source of threat that is not only impactful, but also easily manipulated by managers through advertisements.

AB - Despite abundant work documenting consumers’ reliance on symbolic self-completion after experiencing a self-discrepancy, surprisingly little research has investigated the underlying psychological processes that drive this type of compensatory consumption. This article addresses this critical gap, demonstrating that self-discrepancies triggered by identity threats reduce working memory capacity (WMC), and these reductions in WMC mediate compensatory consumption. Consumers process identity-relevant products more positively than neutral products, establishing a causal chain between self-threats, WMC, and compensatory consumption. In addition, identity-consistent experiences facilitate increases in WMC. Importantly, by utilizing negative emotions as the source of self-threat, this article also demonstrates that identity-inconsistent emotions can serve as a source of threat that is not only impactful, but also easily manipulated by managers through advertisements.

KW - Compensatory consumption

KW - Emotions

KW - Identity threat

KW - Working memory capacity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067598036&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85067598036&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/jcr/ucy060

DO - 10.1093/jcr/ucy060

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85067598036

VL - 46

SP - 99

EP - 118

JO - Journal of Consumer Research

JF - Journal of Consumer Research

SN - 0093-5301

IS - 1

ER -