The sweet escape: Effects of mortality salience on consumption quantities for high- And low-self-esteem consumers

Naomi Mandel, Dirk Smeesters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research demonstrates that exposure to death-related stimuli can increase consumers' amounts of purchasing and consumption. We demonstrate that consumers who have been recently reminded of their own impending mortality wish to purchase higher quantities of food products (and actually eat higher quantities) than do their control counterparts. This effect occurs primarily among low-self-esteem consumers. We explain our findings in terms of escape from self-awareness. Low (but not high) self-esteem participants overconsume in response to a mortality salience activation as a means to escape from self-awareness. We also address alternative explanations for these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-323
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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