Kellogg School of Management
Miao HuPhD Candidate in Marketing
Ph.D. in Marketing (Expected in 2014), Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
M.S. in Marketing (2011), Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
B.A. in Marketing (2009), Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, China
Research Interests: Luxury and Counterfeit Consumption, Status and Power, Cross-Cultural Research, Time Perception
Derek D. Rucker, Miao Hu and Adam D. Galinsky, “The Experience Versus The Expectations of Power: A Recipe for Altering the Effects of Power on Behavior,” Forthcoming at Journal of Consumer Research.
Selected Work in Progress:
Miao Hu, Derek D. Rucker and Jie Chen, “Cultured Materialism: The Culturally Bound Link Between Materialism and Subjective Well Being”
Miao Hu and Derek D. Rucker, “The Sequential Effect of Competence and Warmth Cues on Brand Status Judgments (Dissertation Project)”
Miao Hu and Angela Y. Lee, “Cross-Cultural Research on Motivation of Counterfeit Luxury Goods Consumption”
Miao Hu and Brian Sternthal, “Reversing the Internal Clock: How Time Perception Affects Extremity of Evaluations”
Title: The Sequential Effect of Competence and Warmth Cues on Brand Status Judgments
Abstract:This dissertation seeks to better understand psychological factors that affect consumers’ judgment of brand status. I propose that two core dimensions of social judgment—competence and warmth—influence status judgments for brands. However, while both dimensions are anticipated to increase status independently, when presented together, I propose that how information is sequenced further affects perceptions of status. Specifically, I predict that, holding absolute information constant, communicating competence cues about the brand to consumers prior to warmth cues results in higher brand status judgments compared with communicating the exact same information in the reverse order (i.e., warmth cues before competence cues). Results of five experimental studies support this hypothesis. I propose this sequential effect is due to consumers engaging in a biased information search when facing status judgments. Because competence is positively associated with social status and instrumental for judgments of hierarchy, I argue that people actively seek competence information when judging brand status. However, after the need for competence information is satiated, warmth information has the ability to bring additional benefits to brand status judgments above and beyond competence information. In contrast, if warmth information is presented first, it has less impact on brand status because people are not actively seeking warmth information when judging status. This dissertation contributes to the framework of warmth and competence, provides novel insights on the antecedents and conceptualization of brand status, and provides practical implications for branding and marketing practices.