Monday, June 30, 2014

Shelve Self-Control with Risk Mates

Texas A&M University and Vanderbilt University researchers randomly paired study participants, asked each pair to review a short film, and put a bowl of jelly beans on a table between the two reviewers.
     How did the degree of candy gobbling affect the relationship between the study participants?
     It turned out that when each of the pair perceived that the two of them had eaten more jelly beans than was prudent, the two felt closer to each other than for those pairs in which the transgression hadn’t been shared.
     People who feel close influence each other’s consumer decisions. That’s true with minor vices such as eating jelly beans in casual relationships such as random assignment. It’s also true with serious risk-taking and serious relationships.
     Boston College and University of Pittsburgh researchers looked at financial choices by married couples. When both members of the pair exhibited high self-control in other realms, they showed caution in their purchases. However, when one member showed high self-control and the other member, low self-control, the low self-control prevailed. The pair made riskier financial decisions.
     In deciding whether to make a purchase, each shopper consciously or subconsciously weighs the risks. Of the various types of risk, two are called “social” and “psychological” by consumer psychologists.
  • Social risk: “If the people I admire know I’m using this product or service, am I in danger of falling out of favor with them?”
  • Psychological risk: “Does using this product or service conflict with the image I want to maintain of myself?”
     A retailer can address the social risk by encouraging shoppers to bring along their friends. As to psychological risk, research indicates that having shoppers bring along the household is a help.
     The friends or family don’t even need to be there with the shopper in order to exert an effect. A marketing researcher and a psychologist at UmeĆ„ University in Sweden explored what influences a value-laden innovative purchase decision—buying a vehicle that uses electricity and biofuels instead of fossil fuel gasoline.
     Not surprisingly, the study found that one major determinant was the nature of the consumer’s values regarding protection of the environment. Those wanting to maintain an image of themselves as guardians of the environment were more likely to buy.
     Still, another determinant was the size of the consumer’s household. Those living in multi-person households were more likely to take the risk of buying the innovative vehicle.

Click below for more: 
Spread Risks to Family for Values-Laden Buys 
Build on Couples’ Decision-Making Rituals 
Form Crowds into In-Groups

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