Journal of Consumer Behaviour

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Affective and cognitive religiosity: Influences on consumer reactance and self‐control

Abstract

Self‐control is regularly studied in the marketing literature in relation to spending and food consumption; however, little research has assessed trait characteristics that influence consumers' self‐control. Although prior research in other fields has shown a generally positive relationship between religiosity and self‐control, such research has often used poor measures of religiosity and has inadequately examined marketplace outcomes or factors underlying consumers' self‐controlled responses. Thus, the studies herein build on self‐regulation theory to address and extend from these limitations by examining the influence of religiosity, as a multidimensional construct (particularly affective and cognitive religiosity), on self‐control and resulting influences on marketplace behaviors. Findings reveal that priming affectively (cognitively) religious consumers leads to greater (lower) consumer self‐control with a religious message prime (Study 1) and religious writing task (Study 2). Additionally, findings show that psychological reactance is at the root of these responses (Study 3). Implications build on self‐regulation theory and the strength model of self‐control to show the importance of religiosity (particularly affective and cognitive religiosity), interactions with religious primes, and psychological reactance in understanding consumers' self‐control.

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