Multiple Routes to Self versus Other-Expression in Consumer Choice, Journal of Marketing Research
Studies of consumer decision making often begin with the identification of a dimension on which options differ, followed by an analysis of the factors that influence preferences along that dimension. Building on a conceptual analysis of a diverse set of problems, we identify a class of related consumers choices (e.g., extreme versus compromise, hedonic versus utilitarian, risky versus safe) that can all be classified based on their levels of self- versus other-expression (or un/conventionality). As we show in four studies, these problem types respond similarly to manipulations that trigger or suppress self-expression. Specifically, priming self-expression systematically increases the share of the self-expressive options across choice problems. Conversely, expecting to be evaluated decreases the share of the self-expressive options across the various choice dilemmas. Additionally, priming risk-seeking increases only choice of risky gambles, but not of other self-expressive options. Our findings highlight the importance of seeking underlying shared features across different consumer choice problems, instead of treating each type in isolation.
Michal Maimaran, Itamar Simonson
Maimaran, Michal, and Itamar Simonson. 2011. Multiple Routes to Self versus Other-Expression in Consumer Choice. Journal of Marketing Research. 48(4): 755-765.