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The Endowment Effect as Self-Enhancement in Response to Threat

Promothesh Chatterjee, Caglar Irmak and Randall L. Rose
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 3 (October 2013), pp. 460-476
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/671344
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/671344
Page Count: 17
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The Endowment Effect as Self-Enhancement in Response to Threat
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Abstract

The discrepancy between willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) for a product, referred to as the endowment effect, has been investigated and replicated across various domains because of its implications for rational decision making. The authors assume that implicit processes operate in the endowment effect and propose an explanation that is derived from the two main accounts of the effect, ownership and loss aversion. Based on the implicit egotism and self-affirmation literatures, the model argues that selling is perceived as an implicit self-threat and that sellers, as a part of their automatic defense mechanism, respond to this self-threat by enhancing the value of the self-associated object. Five studies test these conjectures and provide support for the proposed model.

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