Browsing by Subject "PURCHASE INTENTION"

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  • Luomala, Harri; Puska, Petteri; Lähdesmäki, Merja; Siltaoja, Marjo; Kurki, Sami (2020)
    Status considerations have recently been linked to prosocial behaviors. This research shows that even everyday consumer behaviors such as favoring organic foods serve as prosocial status signaling. Key ideas from the continuum model of consumer impression formation and the theories of costly signaling and symbolic consumption are synthetized to make sense of this phenomenon. Two web-surveys (Ns = 187, 259) and a field study (N = 336) following experimental designs are conducted. This approach allows the analysis of both the more and less conscious reactions of consumers. Study 1 shows that the image of consumers favoring organic product versions is marked by characteristics consistent with prosocial status signaling. Study 2 replicates these findings with another sample and a wider range of products and demonstrate that observers’ conservative values influence the image formed of organic food users. Study 3 establishes that similar image effects also emerge through a less conscious formation process and that they extend to how organic food users are socially treated. This research advances the current understanding concerning the interlinkages between organic food usage, prosocial status signaling, consumer impressions and reputation management. Substantively, the studies provide novel compelling empirical evidence for the ability of non-luxurious everyday consumer behaviors to qualify as prosocial status signaling. Conceptually, the integration of evolutionary and sociocultural perspectives represents a major contribution. More specifically, this research yields new understanding as regards the role of individual variation in sensing and interpreting status symbols.
  • Puska, Petteri; Kurki, Sami; Lähdesmäki, Merja; Siltaoja, Marjo; Luomala, Harri (2018)
    As the current research suggests that there are links between prosocial acts and status signaling (including sustainable consumer choices), we empirically study (with three experiments) whether food consumers go green to be seen. First, we examine how activating a motive for status influences prosocial organic food preferences. Then, we examine how the social visibility of the choice (private vs. public) affects these preferences. We found that when consumers' desire for status was elicited, they preferred organic food products significantly over their nonorganic counterparts; making the choice situation visible created the same effect. Finally, we go beyond consumers' evaluative and behavioral domains that have typically been addressed to investigate whether this (nonconscious) "going green to be seen" effect is also evident at the level of more physiologically-driven food responses. Indeed, status motives and reputational concerns created an improved senso-emotional experience of organic food. Specifically, when consumers were led to believe that they have to share their organic food taste experiences with others, an elevation could be detected not only in the pleasantness ratings but also in how joyful and hopeful they felt after eating a food sample. We claim that the reason for this is that a tendency to favor organic foods can be viewed as a costly signaling trait, leading to flaunting about one's prosocial tendencies. According to these findings, highlighting socially disapproved consumption motives, such as reputation management, may be an effective way to increase the relatively low sales of organic foods and thereby promote sustainable consumer behavior. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.