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Can Marketer Actions that Increase Consumers Attractiveness Reduce their Cognitive Choices?

Abstract

This research investigates downstream effects of marketer actions, such as the use of body-shaming ads, attractiveness-enhancing clothing, and body-focused social media posts, on cognitive pursuits among consumers. Such actions can evoke feelings of attractiveness (unattractiveness) among consumers, which can reduce (increase) cognitive pursuits among women, but not men or children. First, we find, adults, but not children, hold beliefs that attractive women are less intelligent. Second, we find, attractiveness feelings can cue these available beliefs among adults. Third, we find, women, but not men, perceive these beliefs as self-diagnostic, becoming less (more) motivated to pursue cognitive tasks when feeling attractive (unattractive). Similar effects are not observed among preschoolers who do not have such beliefs. We discuss implications for consumer welfare.

Type

Working Paper

Author(s)

Michal Maimaran, Aparna Labroo, Anastasiya Pocheptsova

Date Published

2020

Citations

Maimaran, Michal, Aparna Labroo, and Anastasiya Pocheptsova. 2020. Can Marketer Actions that Increase Consumers Attractiveness Reduce their Cognitive Choices?.

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