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Implicit Self-Referencing: The Effect of Nonvolitional Self-Association on Brand and Product Attitude

Andrew W. Perkins and Mark R. Forehand
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 39, No. 1 (June 2012), pp. 142-156
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/662069
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662069
Page Count: 15
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If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Implicit Self-Referencing: The Effect of Nonvolitional
                    Self-Association on Brand and Product Attitude
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Abstract

In three experiments, nonvolitional self-association is shown to improve implicit attitude, self-reported attitude, purchase intention, and product choice for both product categories and fictional brands. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that arbitrary categorization of self-related content with novel stimuli improved evaluations by creating new self-object associations in memory and that the influence of self-association is moderated by implicit self-esteem. Experiment 3 shows that such implicit self-referencing does not require conscious self-categorization and occurs even when novel stimuli are simply presented in close proximity to self-related content. In this final experiment, subjects responded more positively to brands featured in banner ads on a personal social networking webpage than when featured on an equivalent nonpersonal social networking page. This automatic self-association effect was mediated by the degree to which the advertising prompted an implicit association between the self and the advertised brands.

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