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To Be or Not to Be Unique? The Effect of Social Exclusion on Consumer Choice

Echo Wen Wan, Jing Xu and Ying Ding
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 6 (April 2014), pp. 1109-1122
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/674197
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/674197
Page Count: 14
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To Be or Not to Be Unique? The Effect of Social Exclusion on Consumer Choice
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Abstract

This research proposes that after an experience of being excluded, consumers may strategically choose products to differentiate themselves from the majority of others as a result of their appraisal of the exclusion situation. Experiments 1 and 2 show that when excluded individuals perceive that the cause of social exclusion is stable (vs. unstable), they exhibit greater preference for distinctive products than do included individuals. Experiment 3 documents that excluded individuals prefer distinctive products when their self-view is enhanced through self-affirmation. Moreover, these effects are driven by a strengthened perception of uniqueness. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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