Derek D. Rucker

Derek D. Rucker
Northwestern University | NU · Department of Marketing

About

126
Publications
120,937
Reads
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20,921
Citations
Citations since 2017
34 Research Items
12114 Citations
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (126)
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Uncertainty is an inherent part of consumers' environment. A large literature in marketing and related disciplines has found a positive relationship between uncertainty and information search: as consumers' uncertainty about a brand, product, or service increases, so does their inclination to seek out and engage with information. In co...
Article
This research reveals how a fundamental and pervasive psychological state, feeling powerful, asymmetrically impacts consumers’ construction of and response to communications. For senders, power reduces consumers’ need-for-justification and lowers the degree of support they seek and use to construct their communications. This lowered degree of suppo...
Article
Sentiment analysis has fundamentally changed marketers’ ability to assess consumer opinion. Indeed, the measurement of attitudes via natural language has influenced how marketing is practiced on a day-to-day basis. Yet, recent findings suggest that sentiment analysis’s current emphasis on measuring valence (i.e., positivity or negativity) can produ...
Article
Agency reflects an orientation in which the individual prioritizes the self. Agency has been associated with positive consequences, such as directing people to accomplish tasks and attain goals. Yet, agency is also associated with negative consequences, such as fueling materialistic and narcissistic behavior. This paper reviews recent research that...
Article
Applied behavioural science tends to overvalue interventions that can be readily tested using experiments. This experimental validation bias drives the popularity of light interventions and nudges and unnecessarily limits the scope and ambition of the field.
Article
Full-text available
Online reviews promise to provide people with immediate access to the wisdom of the crowds. Yet, half of all reviews on Amazon and Yelp provide the most positive rating possible, despite human behaviour being substantially more varied in nature. We term the challenge of discerning success within this sea of positive ratings the ‘positivity problem’...
Article
The attitude–behavior relationship is of great import to many areas of psychology. Indeed, psychologists across disciplines have published thousands of articles on the topic. The majority of this research implies that the attitude–behavior relationship is linear. However, observations from 4,101 participants on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and 321,876...
Article
Inferring individuals’ social rank—their position within a hierarchy—is central to many interactions. But, how do observers assess actors’ social rank? The current article reviews three broad sources of social-rank cues: physical characteristics, behaviors, and possessions. First, observers infer an actor’s social rank from ancestral stereotypes te...
Article
Full-text available
Expertise provides numerous benefits. Experts process information more efficiently, remember information better, and often make better decisions. Consumers pursue expertise in domains they love and chase experiences that make them feel something. Yet, might becoming an expert carry a cost for these very feelings? Across more than 700,000 consumers...
Article
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This research illustrates how marketing perks can be leveraged to spur WOM. We introduce a previously-overlooked, yet practically-relevant dimension on which perks differ: contractuality. Contractuality is defined as the extent to which a perk is perceived to be conditional on specific behaviors and contingencies dictated by a company. We show that...
Article
How do people respond to risk in important life decisions? For example, when presented with the opportunity to leave one's job to start a business-a risky proposition for most-or to stay put-often a safer course of action-what do people choose? The current work explores the idea that important life decisions offer people the opportunity to display...
Article
Consumer behavior is influenced by both consumers’ chronic motivations and salient environmental or situational cues. Consequently, marketers are in interested in knowing how naturally occurring phenomena alter the salience of different cues and interact with consumers’ chronic motivations. This work uses the context of prosocial spending to unders...
Article
To avoid threats to the self, people shun comparisons with similar—yet immoral, mentally unstable, or otherwise negatively viewed—others. Despite this prevalent perspective, we consider a contrarian question: Can people be attracted to darker versions of themselves? We propose that with self-threat assuaged, similarity signals self-relevance, which...
Article
This research finds evidence for reliable individual differences in people’s perceived attitude stability that predict the actual stability of their attitudes over time. Study 1 examines the reliability and factor structure of an 11-item Personal Attitude Stability Scale (PASS). Study 2 establishes test–retest reliability for the PASS over a 5-week...
Article
Advocacy is a topic of increasing import in the attitudes literature, but researchers know little to nothing about how people (i.e., persuaders) choose their targets (i.e., the recipients of their advocacy). Four main experiments and six supplemental studies (total N = 3684) demonstrate that people prefer to direct persuasion efforts toward individ...
Article
Stories are known to be powerful persuasive devices. Stories can capture attention, evoke emotion, and entrance listeners in a manner that reduces resistance to a message. Given the powerful persuasive potential of stories, one might deduce that it is best to embed one’s facts within a story. In contrast to this perspective, the present research su...
Article
Extant research demonstrates that luxury goods are beneficial signals that bestow upon individuals social benefits that range from positive evaluations to compliance. In contrast to this perspective, the current work explores the idea that luxury goods can carry significant negative social costs for actors. Across four experiments, the social cost...
Article
Attitude change and persuasion are among the most studied topics in social psychology. Surprisingly, though, as a field we have virtually zero insight into perceived attitude change—that is, how people assess the magnitude of a shift in someone's attitude or opinion. The current research provides an initial investigation of this issue. Across 6 pri...
Article
Counterattitudinal-argument generation is a powerful tool for opening people up to alternative views. On the basis of decades of research, it should be especially effective when people adopt the perspective of individuals who hold alternative views. In the current research, however, we found the opposite: In three preregistered experiments (total N...
Article
Higgins and Liberman (2018) and Simonson and Kivetz (2018) offer scholarly and stimulating perspectives on loss aversion and the implications for the sociology of science of its acceptance as a virtual law of nature. In our view, Higgins and Liberman (2018) largely complement our conclusion that the empirical evidence does not support loss aversion...
Article
Loss aversion, the principle that losses loom larger than gains, is among the most widely accepted ideas in the social sciences. The first part of this article introduces and discusses the construct of loss aversion. The second part of this article reviews evidence in support of loss aversion. The upshot of this review is that current evidence does...
Article
Full-text available
Persuasion is a foundational topic within psychology, in which researchers have long investigated effective versus ineffective means to change other people’s minds. Yet little is known about how individuals’ communications are shaped by the intent to persuade others. This research examined the possibility that people possess a learned association b...
Chapter
Full-text available
The majority of studies in moral psychology have confounded unethical behavior with selfish behavior. We conceptually distinguish between unethicality and selfishness by analyzing the four distinct categories of behavior that these two con- structs combine to produce: selfish/unethical, selfish/ethical, unself- ish/ethical, and unselfish/unethical...
Chapter
This integrative review presents the Agentic–Communal Model of Advantage and Disadvantage to offer insight into the psychology of inequality. This model examines the relation between individuals’ position of advantage or disadvantage in a social hierarchy and their propensity toward agency and communion. We begin by identifying and reviewing four i...
Article
Psychological certainty has been the subject of a great deal of research across a number of different literatures. This review focuses on prior and ongoing research on attitude certainty—the subjective sense of confidence of conviction a person has about an attitude—to provide a general overview of the role of certainty in attitudes and persuasion....
Article
Full-text available
The rapid expansion of the Internet and the availability of vast repositories of natural text provide researchers with the immense opportunity to study human reactions, opinions, and behavior on a massive scale. To help researchers take advantage of this new frontier, the present work introduces and validates the Evaluative Lexicon 2.0 (EL 2.0)—a q...
Article
Consumers often give advice by recommending products and services to one another. The present research explores the idea that advice giving sometimes reflects a self-serving desire to compensate for a loss of control. Four experiments provide convergent evidence for a phenomenon we term compensatory word of mouth, whereby consumers' communications...
Article
Full-text available
The present review focuses on how power-as a perception regarding the self, the source of the message, or the message itself-affects persuasion. Contemporary findings suggest that perceived power can increase or decrease persuasion depending on the circumstances and thus might result in both short-term and long-term consequences for behavior. Given...
Article
This article offers a primer on social power and social class with respect to their theoretical importance, conceptual distinction, and empirical relationship. We introduce and define the constructs of social power, social class, and one's psychological sense of power. We next explore the complex relationship between social power and social class....
Article
Past investigations show that asking participants to recall a personal episode of power affects behavior in a variety of ways. Recently, some researchers have questioned the replicability of such priming effects. This article adds to this conversation by investigating a moderator of power recall effects: ease of retrieval. Four experiments find tha...
Article
This case features Bel-Brand's efforts to position its flagship brand The Laughing Cow in the United States. The challenges in this case are twofold. First, choose a viable position for a brand after a period of high growth following the South Beach Craze. The difficulty here is that the initial driver of the brand's position, the South Beach Craze...
Article
In 2009–2010 Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice brand had to respond to two important challenges. First, after a successful rebranding of the Glacial Falls scent into Swagger (see Kellogg Case #5-411-752), Old Spice’s core brand team had to determine its next step in advertising. The options being considered included continuing to advertise Swagger, swit...
Article
This case features Old Spice's efforts to reposition Glacial Falls after sales stagnated in the United States. The challenges in this case are twofold. First, it sets the stage for deciding whether and how to reposition a brand after a period of significant stagnation. This entails a targeting dilemma about whether to keep existing customers or tak...
Article
The current analysis examines the relationship between power and perspective-taking. We review the literature and note four findings. First, multiple theories predict that power decreases perspective-taking. Second, consistent with these theories, numerous labs have found that power reduces perspective-taking and a concern for others. Third, we not...
Article
Full-text available
Social influence is typically studied after a product is released. Yet, audience expectations and discussions begin before a product’s release. This observation suggests a need to understand adoption processes over a product’s life cycle. To explore pre- and postrelease social influence processes, this article uses survey data from Americans expose...
Article
A typical article in a top-tier business journal can require as much as $400,000 in academic labor costs (Terwiesch and Ulrich 2014). This estimate raises the question of what makes a contribution worthy of such a significant financial investment. How does an academic community determine the value of a contribution? We propose two criteria inform j...
Article
Ample evidence documents that power increases unethical behavior. This article introduces a new theoretical framework for understanding when power leads to more versus less unethical behavior. Our key proposition is that people hold expectations about power that are both descriptive (how the powerful do behave) and prescriptive (how the powerful sh...
Article
Full-text available
Consumer goods and services have psychological value that can equal or exceed their functional value. A burgeoning literature demonstrates that one source of value emerges from the capacity for products to serve as a psychological salve that reduces various forms of distress across numerous domains. This review systematically organizes and integrat...
Article
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Across three experiments, participants formed a larger number of categories when in a state of high, compared to low, psychological power. Moreover, in contrast to prior categorization research, which suggests forming more categories is tantamount to reduced breadth of categorization, high-power participants also formed a larger number of superordi...
Article
The current research offers a new theoretical perspective on the relationship between power and persuasion. An agentic-communal model of power is presented that proposes power affects both the type of messages generated by communicators and the types of messages that persuade audiences. Compared to low-power and neutral states, high-power states pr...
Article
The present work discusses how psychological mindsets—orientations that affect how consumers encode, interpret, and respond to information— can help, as well as hurt, portion control. To this end, the current article provides an overview of the general idea of psychological mindsets as well as snapshots of mindsets from three distinct literatures:...
Chapter
When engaging in word-of-mouth (WOM) communications, consumers generally share either opinions, whereby they merely communicate whether they like or dislike a product (e.g., “I like the product I just bought”), or advice, whereby they offer explicit recommendations as to how others should behave (e.g., “buy or do not buy this product”). Past resear...
Chapter
Consumers often advise other consumers by providing them with explicit recommendations on how to behave with regard to a wide range of purchasing decisions. Although previous literature (e.g., Goldsmith and Fitch 1997; Liu and Gal 2011) typically construes advice giving as a behavior driven by an empathic concern for others, in this research we pro...
Book
Why do consumers make the purchases they do, and which ones make them truly happy? Why are consumers willing to spend huge sums of money to appear high status? This handbook addresses these key questions and many more. It provides a comprehensive overview of consumer psychology, examining cutting-edge research at the individual, interpersonal, and...
Article
This paper presents an Agentic-Communal Model of Power as a means to understand how power shapes and guides consumer behavior. We present theoretical arguments and review empirical data that reveal how the possession of power can produce a more agentic orientation within consumers, whereas the lack of power can produce a more communal orientation w...
Article
In this commentary, we reflect on several important issues and questions provoked by Murphy and Dweck's target article. First, we define a mindset as a frame of mind that affects the selection, encoding, and retrieval of information as well as the types of evaluations and responses an individual gives. As such, we suggest that while studying fixed...
Article
We comment on [36] by evaluating the practice of discretizing continuous variables. We show that dichotomizing a continuous variable via the median split procedure or otherwise and analyzing the resulting data via ANOVA involves a large number of costs that can be avoided by preserving the continuous nature of the variable and analyzing the data vi...
Article
This review synthesizes research on power and morality. Although power is typically viewed as undermining the roots of moral behavior, this paper proposes power can either morally corrupt or morally elevate individuals depending on two critical factors. First, power can trigger behavioral disinhibition. As a consequence, power fosters corruption by...
Article
Research has consistently demonstrated that psychological threats to the self have a wide variety of consequences for consumer behavior. The present research introduces a novel perspective to this topic by proposing that psychologically distinct domains of threat may have a common underpinning in the coping strategies they evoke. Specifically, this...
Article
Full-text available
Consumers have knowledge about persuasion that includes naïve theories about persuasion. The present work examines naïve theories with regard to whether consumers associate the meaning of persuasion as something that is either good or bad. Furthermore, naïve theories about persuasion are demonstrated to affect how consumers respond to a persuasive...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research has shown that psychological threat can provoke consumers to desire, seek out, and acquire products that symbolize accomplishment in the domain of the threat. Although such within-domain compensation can serve as a psychological salve to repair the self, the current research suggests that sometimes this form of compensation can have...
Article
Are the rich more unethical than the poor? To answer this question, the current research introduces a key conceptual distinction between selfish and unethical behavior. Based on this distinction, the current article offers 2 novel findings that illuminate the relationship between social class and unethical behavior. First, the effects of social cla...
Chapter
The construct of power is part of the structural foundation of social psychology. Two of social psychology's most seminal works – Milgram's experiments on obedience to authority (Milgram, 1963) and Zimbardo's prison experiment (Zimbardo, 1973, 1974) – involved differences in power. In more recent years, the contemporary landscape of social psycholo...
Article
Full-text available
Music has long been suggested to be a way to make people feel powerful. The current research investigated whether music can evoke a sense of power and produce power-related cognition and behavior. Initial pretests identified musical selections that generated subjective feelings of power. Experiment 1 found that music pretested to be powerful implic...
Article
The current research investigated whether the two fundamental dimensions of social perception - warmth and competence - are applied to judgments of non-social, inanimate objects (e.g., furniture, equipment). Moreover, this work identifies key visual elements that drive object perceptions along these two dimensions. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that...
Article
Power transforms consumer behavior. This research introduces a critical theoretical moderator of power's effects by promoting the idea that power is accompanied by both an experience (how it feels to have or lack power) and expectations (schemas and scripts as to how those with or without power behave). In some cases, the psychological experience o...
Article
Full-text available
Building on an action-orientation perspective of power, original hypotheses re-garding power and consumer switching behavior are presented. Because high power is associated with a readiness to act, and switching behavior often requires taking action in some form, inducing consumers to feel powerful is hypothesized to increase consumer switching. Mu...
Article
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Previous research suggests that people draw inferences about their attitudes and preferences based on their own thoughtfulness. The current research explores how observing other individuals make decisions more or less thoughtfully can shape perceptions of those individuals and their decisions and ultimately impact observers' willingness to be influ...
Article
Prevailing theories of judgmental contrasts propose mechanisms ranging from relatively low versus high degrees of thought. The present research tests the hypothesis that the degree of thought involved in producing judgmental contrast has important implications. In three experiments, participants' ability or motivation to engage in effortful thinkin...
Article
Research on political psychology has benefitted from using individual-difference measures to predict political attitudes and behavior. And, previous research has further identified a number of specific variables that enhance the predictive utility of individual-difference scales. However, a potentially important factor that has been overlooked is t...
Article
People often reflect on the opinions of others and express greater attitude certainty when they perceive their attitudes to be shared by others (high attitude consensus). The present research tests the possibility that either high or low attitude consensus can increase attitude certainty depending on people's salient social identification needs. In...
Article
Full-text available
Compared to the conventional order of hypocritical actionssaying one thing and then doing anothermerely reversing the order of these actions can mitigate whether an individual is judged to be a hypocrite (Barden, Rucker, & Petty, 2005). The present research examines how factors extraneous to a target's own actionsspecifically, group membershipinflu...
Article
This paper explores consumers' commitment to and conviction about their beliefs in the form of attitude certainty. Based on a review of past research, we present a new framework for understanding attitude certainty and how consumers' attitude certainty is shaped by their resisting or yielding to persuasive messages, or even by their reflections on...
Article
The current research explores whether momentary changes in power can shift professional interview outcomes. Two experiments manipulated power by asking applicants to recall a time they had or lacked power prior to writing a job application letter (Experiment 1) or being interviewed for admission to business schools (Experiment 2). Independent judge...
Article
A large literature demonstrates that people process information more carefully in states of low compared to high confidence. This article presents an alternative hypothesis that either high or low confidence can increase or decrease information processing on the basis of how information is construed. Five experiments demonstrate two sets of finding...
Article
Full-text available
This research introduces the distinction between compensatory consumption that is engaged in after, as opposed to before, one experiences a self-threat (termed reactive vs. proactive compensatory consumption). Five experiments document the phenomenon of proactive compensatory consumption as well as corresponding boundary conditions for its effect....
Article
The current research examines whether direct and vicarious identification with a low-status group affects consumers' desire for objects associated with status. Experiment 1 found that individuals who belonged to and identified with a status social category associated with relatively lower status (Blacks) exhibited an enhanced desire for high-status...
Article
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Past research has found that primes can automatically initiate unconscious goal striving. Recent models of priming have suggested that this effect can be moderated by validation processes. According to a goal-validation perspective, primes should cause changes in one's motivational state to the extent people have confidence in the prime-related men...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research on word of mouth (WOM) has presented inconsistent evidence on whether consumers are more inclined to share positive or negative information about products and services. Some findings suggest that consumers are more inclined to engage in positive WOM, whereas others suggest that consumers are more inclined to engage in negative WOM...
Article
Accession Number: 2012-17735-007. First Author & Affiliation: Rucker, Derek D.; Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, US. Other Publishers: Lawrence Erlbaum. Release Date: 20120903. Publication Type: Journal, (0100); Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110); . Media Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language:...
Article
This research proposes that consumers’ preference for supersized food and drinks may have roots in the status-signaling value of larger options. An initial experiment found that consumers view larger-sized options within a set as having greater status. Because low-power consumers desire status, we manipulated power to test our core propositions. Wh...
Article
Full-text available
Accession Number: 2011-27494-008. First Author & Affiliation: Dubois, David; HEC Paris, Paris, France. Release Date: 20120213. Correction Date: 20120618. Publication Type: Journal, (0100); Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110); . Media Covered: Print. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Communication; Consumer Attitudes; Co...
Article
Past research suggests that cognitive and affective attitudes are more open to change toward cognitive and affective (i.e., matched) persuasive attacks, respectively. The present research investigates how attitude certainty influences this openness. Although an extensive literature suggests that certainty generally reduces an attitude's openness to...
Article
Full-text available
Power and choice represent two fundamental forces that govern human behavior. Scholars have largely treated power as an interpersonal construct involving control over other individuals, whereas choice has largely been treated as an intrapersonal construct that concerns the ability to select a preferred course of action. Although these constructs ha...
Article
A key aim of social psychology is to understand the psychological processes through which independent variables affect dependent variables in the social domain. This objective has given rise to statistical methods for mediation analysis. In mediation analysis, the significance of the relationship between the independent and dependent variables has...
Article
Full-text available
This research examines how consumers' spending on themselves versus others can be affected by temporary shifts in their states of power. Five experiments found that individuals experiencing a state of power spent more money on themselves than on others, whereas those experiencing a state of powerlessness spent more money on others than on themselve...
Article
Researchers and practitioners alike frequently survey consumers to gain insights into their attitudes, preferences, and beliefs. The authors propose a potentially pervasive, but as of yet unidentified, source of bias in survey responding. Specifically, they propose that respondents' answers to questions might sometimes reflect attitudes that respon...
Article
This article proposes that merely considering outcomes associated with a positive approach emotion (e.g., happiness) can regulate negative emotions that evoke an approach orientation (e.g., sadness, anger). In contrast, outcomes associated with a positive avoidance emotion (e.g., calmness) best regulate negative emotions that evoke an avoidance ori...
Article
A seminal case study by Festinger found, paradoxically, that evidence that disconfirmed religious beliefs increased individuals' tendency to proselytize to others. Although this finding is renowned, surprisingly, it has never been subjected to experimental scrutiny and is open to multiple interpretations. We examined a general form of the question...
Article
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The present research explores how people's place in a power hierarchy alters their representations of valued objects. The authors hypothesized that powerlessness produces an accentuation bias by altering the physical representation of monetary objects in a manner consistent with the size-to-value relationship. In the first three experiments, powerl...
Article
Full-text available
Accession Number: 2011-17498-001. First Author & Affiliation: Dubois, David; Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, IL, US. Release Date: 20111024. Publication Type: Journal, (0100); Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110); . Media Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Dominance Hi...
Article
This research explores how regulatory depletion affects consumers' responses to advertising. Initial forays into this area suggest that the depletion of self-regulatory resources is irrelevant when advertisement arguments are strong or consumers are highly motivated to process. In contrast to these conclusions, the authors contend that depletion ha...
Article
People feel, think, and act differently when doubt rather than confidence is accessible. A traditional perspective on the accessibility of doubt holds that multiple sources of doubt activation should lead to increased levels of uncertainty. In contrast, we find that under some conditions two sequential sources of doubt activation result in decrease...
Article
This research examines how consumers' spending on themselves versus others can be affected by temporary shifts in their states of power. Five experiments found that individuals experiencing a state of power spent more money on themselves than on others, whereas those experiencing a state of powerlessness spent more money on others than on themselve...
Article
The present work examines how experiencing high versus low power creates qualitatively distinct psychological motives that produce unique consumption patterns. Based on accumulating evidence that states of power increase focus on one’s own internal desires, we propose that high power will lead to a greater preference for products that are viewed as...
Article
The current research presents a new type of social context effect on attitude certainty. It is proposed that when people receive persuasive messages, they appraise their attitudes not only in terms of whether they are shared or not shared by others, but also in terms of whether they are based on similar or dissimilar assessments of the information...
Article
It is well established that increasing attitude certainty makes attitudes more resistant to attack and more predictive of behavior. This finding has been interpreted as indicating that attitude certainty crystallizes attitudes, making them more durable and impactful. The current research challenges this crystallization hypothesis and proposes an am...
Article
Three experiments examine how power affects consumers' spending propensities. By integrating literatures suggesting that (a) powerlessness is aversive, (b) status is one basis of power, and (c) products can signal status, the authors argue that low power fosters a desire to acquire products associated with status to compensate for lacking power. Su...