Journal of Consumer Behaviour

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Volume 15 Issue 5 (September/October 2016), Pages 385-489

Social exclusion and choice: The moderating effect of power state (pages 449-458)

Abstract

When encountering two product options in which one has been chosen by minority and the other by majority, what will influence consumers to make a choice? Although much research has solved this question, this research will address these issues from different perspectives by examining the interplay of power state and social exclusion on consumer choice. Drawing on power approach/inhibition and distinctive theories, we propose that the individuals in low power state prefer more distinctive products when they are in social exclusion than in social inclusion. In contrast, the individuals in high power state prefer less distinctive products when they are in social exclusion than in social inclusion. Two studies were conducted to confirm the hypotheses. Specifically, study 1 confirms our hypotheses by manipulating social exclusion and power state. And study 2 further confirms our hypotheses through using different experimental stimuli and a behavioral measure of choice. The theoretical and practical implications of this research are provided. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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