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Imagining thin: Why vanity sizing works

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Abstract

Vanity sizing, the practice of clothing manufacturers, whereby smaller size labels are used on clothes than what the clothes actually are, has become very common. Apparently, it helps sell clothes—women prefer small size clothing labels to large ones. We propose and demonstrate that smaller size labels evoke more positive self-related mental imagery. Thus, consumers imagine themselves more positively (thinner) with a vanity sized size-6 pant versus a size-8 pant. We also show that appearance self-esteem moderates the (mediating) effect of imagery on vanity sizing ef-fectiveness—while vanity sizing evokes more positive mental imagery for both low and high appearance self-esteem individuals, the effect of the positive imagery on clothing preference is significant (only) for people with low appearance self-esteem, supported by the theory of compensatory self-enhancement. Our suggestion of simple marketing communications affecting valence of imagery and consequent product evaluation have implications for many other marketing domains.

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... A common issue involving consumer perceptions of potentially deceptive product information is vanity sizing, defined as the intentional labeling of garments with sizes that are smaller than the actual dimensions of those garments with the intent to deceive consumers (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012). A key element of vanity sizing is its reliance on successful deception (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012) that is, an intentional attempt on the part of the retailer to influence the beliefs of the customer that a given entity holds attributes that may not be accurately represented (Bok, 1989). ...
... A common issue involving consumer perceptions of potentially deceptive product information is vanity sizing, defined as the intentional labeling of garments with sizes that are smaller than the actual dimensions of those garments with the intent to deceive consumers (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012). A key element of vanity sizing is its reliance on successful deception (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012) that is, an intentional attempt on the part of the retailer to influence the beliefs of the customer that a given entity holds attributes that may not be accurately represented (Bok, 1989). For vanity sizing to work as intended, consumers must be unaware that labeled sizes are smaller than actual sizes. ...
... According to Román (2010), retailers generally engage in deceptive practices in order to bolster perceived attractiveness of product offerings and spark greater intentions to purchase. In a vanity sizing context, smaller-than-actual size labels lead to a bolstered attractiveness effect in that these labels attempt to induce feelings of thinness, which cause consumers to feel better about themselves and subsequently buy the apparel (Kinley, 2003;Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012). As such, vanity-sized apparel boosts the wearer's self-esteem, which adds value to the product that would not otherwise be present with congruous labeled and actual sizes. ...
While prior scholarship has acknowledged the overall positive influence of vanity sizing on consumer outcomes, no work to date has addressed the psychological process that occurs when consumers suspect retailers of dishonest sizing information. This is an important process to understand because perceptions of deceptive retailer motives lead consumers to react negatively to the product and the retailer, regardless of the retailer's actual motives. Thus, this research utilizes attribution theory to examine perceived deception as a mediator between consumer cynicism (a dispositional trait) and consumer outcomes. The results reveal that at higher levels of consumer cynicism, prior knowledge of deceptive sizing practices has an amplifying effect on the influence of consumer cynicism on perceived deception, while retailer honesty with sizing issues helps to block this influence. Further, perceived deception leads to reduced consumer outcomes, confirming prior findings in the literature.
... Bye and McKinney, 2007). This desire to appeal to smaller sizes has contributed to the increasing trend of vanity sizing (Kinley, 2003a, b;Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012;Ketron, 2016;Ketron and Spears, 2017). ...
... This differs from past conceptualizations, which focus on smaller-than-typical sizing (Kinley, 2003a, b;Aydingolu and Krishna, 2012;Hoegg et al., 2014;Ketron, 2016). Additionally, this study showcases a product context in which the past finding that smaller consumers tend to be resistant to the vanity sizing effect (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012) is actually reversed. That is, the vanity sizing effect is actually diminished for larger-sized when the goal is to make consumers feel larger than usual. ...
... Vanity sizing is inherently tied to appearance self-esteemthat is, satisfaction with and confidence in one's physical appearance, especially in regard to body size/weight (Heatherton and Polivy, 1991) and body image ideals, and the goal of such labeling is to induce greater self-confidence in one's physical appearance (Hoegg et al., 2014;Smeesters et al., 2010). In support of this premise, Aydinoglu and Krishna (2012) found that mental imagery is the primary factor driving the effectiveness of vanity sizing because consumers like to envision themselves as thinner; further, this effect is moderated by appearance self-esteem. However, as stated above, the idea of "smallness" or "thinness" only represents one side of vanity sizing. ...
Article
Purpose Although vanity sizing has often been conceptualized as “smaller is better” in apparel sizing, this perspective is limited in that many products would be more negatively perceived if viewed as smaller in size. In such scenarios, “larger is better” would be a more appropriate heuristic. Thus, vanity sizing should be redefined as a practice in achieving social desirability in size labeling. Namely, vanity sizing actually seeks to induce feelings of either smallness or largeness depending on the context. The purpose of this paper is to address this redefinition. Design/methodology/approach The current research provides initial empirical support of this redefinition with two studies that utilize a blended qualitative/quantitative approach and a hypothetical product scenario in which “larger is better” (bras). Findings Study 1 indicates that consumers seek to feel smaller and larger across different bodily areas. Further, study 2 found that compared to consumers of larger cup sizes, consumers of smaller cup sizes react more favorably to larger-than-typical cup sizes, forming more positive cognitive/affective reactions. Further, these cognitive/affective reactions influence purchase intentions, confirming findings of prior literature concerning attitudes and purchase intentions. Overall, the findings support the need to redefine vanity sizing. Originality/value The present conceptualization of vanity sizing is too narrow and limits understanding of the implications of vanity sizing across all sizing situations. Thus, this paper redefines vanity sizing and furnishes empirical evidence that such redefinition is warranted.
... One particular type of sizing inconsistency is that of vanity sizing, the practice of intentionally mislabeling garments with smaller-thanaccurate sizes with the goal of convincing consumers that their bodies are smaller (Brown and Rice, 1998;Kinley, 2003;Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012;Hoegg et al., 2014;Greve, 2014;Ketron, 2016). Numerous studies in both academic and press/trade literature have documented vanity sizing, including chronological comparisons of sizing standards showing that manufacturers have been shifting garment size meanings with under-sized labels over time (Workman, 1991;Workman and Lentz, 2000). ...
... Consumer responses to vanity sizing range from annoyance to positivity (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012;Kennedy, 2009;Ashdown and Loker, 2010;Ketron, 2016). While prior investigations have revealed some detail around these responses to vanity sizing, much is to be learned about the influence of retail environment on responses to vanity sized garments and the underlying processes that guide these responses. ...
... Vanity sizing is a phenomenon of artificial sizing in which garments are labeled with sizes that are smaller than their actual dimensions, with the ultimate goal of convincing consumers that their bodies are smaller or thinner (Kinley, 2003;Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012). Thus, vanity sized garments have labeled sizes that are smaller than actual. ...
The present research applies anchoring theory to investigate the influence of retail environments on consumer responses to vanity sized garments. The findings reveal that responses to vanity sized garments in classic retail environments and department stores are diminished, because these retailer environments foster greater anticipation of accurately sized apparel. Meanwhile, disbelief in vanity sized garments is suspended in trendy and off-price retail environments, because anchoring effects set up expectations that vanity sizing may be more likely in these environments. The findings are supported by the mediating explanation of believability for classic and department store contexts but not for trendy and off-price environments. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
... Among apparel phenomena, vanity sizing is experiencing steadily growing interest in the literature. To date, several studies have documented the presence of vanity sizing and consumers' varying reactions to smaller-than-typical size labels, including both positive and negative outcomes (Kinley, 2003;Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012;Hoegg et al., 2014;Ketron, 2016;Ketron and Spears, 2017;Ketron and Naletelich, 2017). However, to date, these studies have failed to examine the importance that a consumer places on his/her apparel size as a part of his/ her self-concept. ...
... bolster consumers' perceptions of their own bodily dimensions (Kinley, 2003;Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012;Ketron and Naletelich, 2017). Although the popular notion of vanity sizing is that size labels are superficially deflated to lead to smaller-than-actual bodily perceptions, it is important to note that vanity sizing can shift perceived size to larger or smaller levels depending on the socially optimal direction (Ketron and Naletelich, 2017). ...
... Although this practice may be viewed as deceptive and unethical, consumers are interestingly receptive to vanity sizing. One reason for this acceptance is the promotion of the "thin ideal" (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012;Wertheim et al., 1997). For women, the pressure imposed by society to be model-thin often leads to "dissatisfaction and preoccupation" with appearance (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012). ...
This work investigates size-related self-concept (SRSC)-the extent to which apparel size defines one's identity-and its relationship to perceived deception of and purchase intentions toward vanity-sized garments. Through the lens of self-enhancement theory, two studies reveal that SRSC exerts a significant influence on perceived deception and purchase intentions in garment size labeling contexts, moderated by gender. Study 1 indicates that among females, SRSC has no influence on perceived deception when a properly-fitting garment is labeled one size smaller than the consumer's typical size. However, when the garment is the same size as the typical, SRSC has a positive relationship with perceived deception. Study 2 shows that gender moderates the effect of SRSC on perceived deception of as well as purchase intentions toward a vanity-sized garment, such that SRSC positively predicts perceived deception among males but not among females, while SRSC positively predicts purchase intentions among females but not among males. This work contributes the concept and role of SRSC to the vanity sizing context, indicating that SRSC is just as important as gender in the vanity sizing discussion.
... Compared to those high in selfesteem, individuals with low self-esteem tend to be negatively influenced by an external stimulus or social comparisons, such as a beautiful mannequin or another customer that is attractive, as these draw attention to the perceived deficiencies in their appearance, while high selfesteem participants do not experience such negative effects (Dahl, Argo, & Morales, 2011;Argo & Dahl, 2017). Also, low esteem individuals are drawn more positively to direct self-enhancement stimuli (e.g., cosmetics, vanity clothes sizing) than high esteem individuals (Robertson, Fieldman, & Hussey, 2008;Aydinoglu & Krishna, 2012). ...
... Low-esteem individuals though, as Study 2 and 3 show, welcome the augmentation as it diminishes the aspiration for faraway idealised attractiveness and offers the potential for change. These contrasting effects are supported by prior work that shows increased/decreased preference for selfenhancement tools for low/high esteem consumers respectively (Robertson et al., 2008;Aydinoglu & Krishna, 2012). Notably, this understanding related to the self-concept sheds further light on recent important work that examined the moderating role of self-esteem related to the evaluation of AR technology (Yim & Park, 2019). ...
Article
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Augmented reality mirrors are popular marketing tools that allow virtual try-on of products, such as makeup. We study how such sensory experiences affect consumer perception of the self, specifically the gap between actual and ideal attractiveness, and we conceptualise this change as augmented self. Over three lab experiments we show that viewing oneself in an AR mirror (as opposed to the regular mirror) affects the ideal-actual attractiveness gap and that this effect differs depending on a consumer’s self-esteem. Furthermore, we uncover that ideal self-congruence mediates this process. We also demonstrate that augmentation significantly changes variety-seeking. An additional survey-based study shows downstream effects of ideal self-congruence and ideal-actual gap on product choice and psychological well-being. While commercial immersive technologies are deployed to generate responses related to brands and products, this study demonstrates that the effects extend to consumers’ self-concept. We offer implications for academics and practitioners in marketing and human–computer interaction.
... They might use it to feel good about themselves. Aydinoglu and Krishna (2012) showed this in the context of "vanity sizing" where companies (especially clothing manufacturers) use smaller size labels on clothes that are actually larger in size. This is often done to sell more clothes because women presumably prefer to think of themselves as a size 6 than a size 8. ...
... The lower two quadrants pertain to research in which imagery is either engaged in spontaneously or deliberately in the pursuit of some goal or underlying need. Research by Aydinoglu and Krishna (2012) and Si and Jiang (2017), for example, falls into the deliberative-motivationally determined quadrant, as people engage in imagery-based processes to determine either what to wear or what to eat. The spontaneous use of imagery to satisfy an underlying need is relatively underrepresented. ...
Article
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Mental imagery and mental simulations play an important role in any consumption experience. For decades, however, the famed “imagery debate” dominated discussions on imagery and to some extent stymied research on how imagery impacts consumption. As researchers debated whether a picture-like component was part of the underlying mental representation or not, a researcher’s inability to produce concrete evidence that people had indeed formed mental images was often used to challenge imagery-based explanations. Despite this, the last decade has witnessed burgeoning research on how consumers use imagery in a myriad of ways — often in the service of some larger goal. The monograph views imagery through this functional lens and reviews and organizes these findings. This review provides a historical perspective on imagery research and then uses evidence from past research to lay down a conceptual foundation for new work that will undoubtedly emerge in the coming decades. Questions such as “What triggers imagery?” “Are there differences between perception and imagery?” “How do we use imagery to create simulations and imagine what we do not see?” “How does imagery exert an influence?” and “Are there individual and
... The way the consumer responds to the size of a commercial stimulus also appears to be relevant in marketing, and the topic has been explored mainly in research of packaging. This is because evidence has indicated that size can influence the amount purchased (Chandon and Ordabayeva, 2009), the ability to control the consumption (Atalay et al., 2012), the degree of emotional valence ( positive vs. negative) assigned to the product (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012) and perceived status (Dubois et al., 2012) for example. Interestingly, changes in the size of a product appear to be more subtle when the packages and the portions are altered in the three dimensions rather than in only one dimension (Chandon and Ordabayeva, 2009). ...
... Small sizes can also confuse the perception of consumers when it comes to clothing, food and status. Regarding to clothing, small sizes can evoke levels of positive self-perception related to appearance, especially in women (Aydinoglu and Krishna, 2012). In contrast, in research aimed at understanding the relationship between perceived social status and preference for food and drinks, it was found that participants allocated to situations related to low social status tended to choose larger food and drink packages (Dubois et al., 2012). ...
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The tactical use of visuoperceptual content in marketing may encourage impulsive consumption of unhealthy products. In this study, the application of visuoperceptual content was compared in advertisements used by industries of tobacco, alcohol and food. The aim was to ascertain whether similarities exist in the strategies used as variables for the selection of commercial stimuli, such as color, position and size. Scion Image and Corel Draw Graphics Suite software were used to analyze the content of a non-probabilistic sample of advertising images (N = 150). Differences were identified in the use of the colors green (p = 0.04) and red (p = 0.01), but not in the use of the color blue (p = 0.64), suggesting that induction of feelings of pleasantness resulting from the use of the color blue may be associated with the advertising in the alcohol and tobacco industries. Regarding the position of the commercial stimuli, a predominance of the use of quadrants 'C' (p = 0.00) and 'D' (p = 0.01) was found in all three industries, indicating a similar use of areas perceived as being 'heavier'. As to the size, 78% of advertisements placed the commercial stimuli within a range of 0-25% of the total image. The results showed some similarities in the use of visuoperceptual content in advertisements for tobacco, alcohol and food, especially between tobacco and alcohol. The article offers a convergence analysis of these three industries altogether, providing additional subsidies for the formulation of protection policies. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
... They might use it to feel good about themselves. Aydinoglu and Krishna (2012) showed this in the context of "vanity sizing" where companies (especially clothing manufacturers) use smaller size labels on clothes that are actually larger in size. This is often done to sell more clothes because women presumably prefer to think of themselves as a size 6 than a size 8. ...
... The lower two quadrants pertain to research in which imagery is either engaged in spontaneously or deliberately in the pursuit of some goal or underlying need. Research by Aydinoglu and Krishna (2012) and Si and Jiang (2017), for example, falls into the deliberative-motivationally determined quadrant, as people engage in imagery-based processes to determine either what to wear or what to eat. The spontaneous use of imagery to satisfy an underlying need is relatively underrepresented. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Mental imagery and mental simulations play an important role in any consumption experience. For decades, however, the famed "imagery debate" stymied research on how imagery impacts consumption. As researchers debated whether a picture-like component was part of the underlying mental representation or not, a researcher's inability to produce concrete evidence that people had indeed formed mental images was often used to challenge imagery-based explanations. Despite this, the last decade has witnessed burgeoning research on how consumers use imagery in a myriad of ways-often in the service of some larger goal. The current article views imagery through this functional lens and reviews and organizes these findings. This review provides a historical perspective on imagery research and then uses evidence from past research to lay down a conceptual foundation for new work that will undoubtedly emerge in the coming decades. Questions such as "What triggers imagery?" "Are there differences between perception and imagery?" "How do we use imagery to create simulations and imagine what we do not see?" "How does imagery exert an influence?" and "Are there individual and cultural differences in the ability to image?" are addressed. Then, to unify the somewhat diverse findings from imagery research conducted on consumers, the article organizes the research using two dimensions: The extent to which imagery is spontaneous or deliberate and whether it has cognitive or motivational antecedents. This framework is used to discuss existing research and to pose questions that remain to be answered.
... Vanity sizing is a tactic of clothing manufacturers, to increase their profits and sell their cloths by increasing the actual size of the garment, but labeling it as a smaller size (Aydinoglu, Krishna, 2012;Brown & Rice, 2014;Bubonia, 2014). Additionally, some brands are reluctant to change their current sizing for other financial reasons. ...
Thesis
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The purpose of this study was to categorize lower body shape in men and to investigate the interplay between body shape and fitting issues appearing in men’s jeans. More specifically, the goal of the study was to improve apparel fit based on body shape. The detailed objectives of the study were to: (1) Categorize male body shapes using statistical analysis; (2) use 3D virtual fitting technology to assess fit and develop a shape-driven pants block pattern for each body shape. This quantitative study was conducted in three stages: (1) categorizing the body shape of 1420 male scans, aged 18-35, from the SizeUSA dataset, (2) develop a shape-driven pants block pattern for each identified body shape, and (3) validate the developed blocks by virtually trying the shape-driven block pattern on fit testers from different body shape groups. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and cluster analysis were used for body shape categorization, which resulted in three different body shapes: (1) Flat-Straight, (2) Moderate Curvy-Straight, and (3) Curvy. Three fit models were selected from each identified body shape group and then patterns were developed using Armstrong’s (2005) jeans foundation method. Patterns were modified and fitted to the selected representative fit models of each body shape group. The developed shape-driven block patterns were simulated on the fit testers to further explore the relationship between body shape and fit issues. This study suggests that two individuals with identical body measurements may experience very different fit problems tailored to their different body shapes. It was found that each body shape would exclusively experience unique fit issues. Furthermore, the shape driven block patterns were found to be highly correlated with their host body shape category. This research implies that if the mass customization process starts with block patterns that are engineered for specific body shape categories significantly less fit issues would appear and the desired fit would be achieved in fewer fitting sessions.
... For instance, clothing manufacturers use "vanity sizing", that is, the size on the label is smaller than the actual size of the clothing items. Vanity sizing can make people feel better about themselves because a garment with a smaller-than-expected size label is congruent with a thinner ideal self-imagedconsumers feel thinner [17]. In contrast, larger than expected sizes can reduce appearance self-esteem [18]. ...
Article
Research on the effect of consumption on self-esteem is relatively scarce and related evidence is fragmented. We review articles from the literatures on consumption, advertising, materialism, mass media, and social media as they relate – directly or indirectly – to consumer self-esteem. We introduce a taxonomy of eight types of processes through which consumption affects self-esteem: self-discrepancy, self-congruency, self-enhancement, self-determination, compensatory consumption, self-verification, self-object association, and market-mediated relationships. Based on this taxonomy, we highlight consumption domains and recent consumer trends that impact self-esteem. Moreover, we suggest priorities for further research.
... Positive selfimagery (e.g., thinking of oneself as thinner) feeds into the desire to purchase products that display these lower sizes. This effect is particularly evident among consumers who are low in appearance self-esteem (Aydinoğlu & Krishna, 2012). ...
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Constructive and ecological theories of perception raise questions about whether visual perception is inherently data‐driven (bottom‐up) or interpreted in terms of higher‐order cognitions (top‐down). Analogies between these theoretical perspectives and the two visual systems involved in visual perception (the dorsal and ventral stream) suggest that the literature on visual information processing can be organized around two types of processes: object processing and spatial processing. Object processing involves the identification and recognition of stimuli in the environment and is shaped by existing concepts and associations in memory. It is associated with the processing of properties of objects such as color, size, shape, and pictorial details that are considered in this review. Spatial processing involves the perception of location, movement, spatial relations, and transformation of objects and other stimuli. Imagery‐based processes that are used to transform marketing stimuli in order to simulate various possibilities are reviewed in this section along with individual differences in spatial and visual abilities.
... Vanity sizing is a tactic of clothing manufacturers, to increase their profits and sell their cloths by increasing the actual size of the garment, but labeling it as a smaller size (Aydinoglu, Krishna, 2012;Brown & Rice, 2014;Bubonia, 2014). Additionally, some brands are reluctant to change their current sizing for other financial reasons. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to categorize lower body shape in men and to investigate the interplay between body shape and fitting issues appearing in men’s jeans. More specifically, the goal of the study was to improve apparel fit based on body shape. The detailed objectives of the study were to: (1) Categorize male body shapes using statistical analysis; (2) use 3D virtual fitting technology to assess fit and develop a shape-driven pants block pattern for each body shape. This quantitative study was conducted in three stages: (1) categorizing the body shape of 1420 male scans, aged 18-35, from the SizeUSA dataset, (2) develop a shape-driven pants block pattern for each identified body shape, and (3) validate the developed blocks by virtually trying the shape-driven block pattern on fit testers from different body shape groups. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and cluster analysis were used for body shape categorization, which resulted in three different body shapes: (1) Flat-Straight, (2) Moderate Curvy-Straight, and (3) Curvy. Three fit models were selected from each identified body shape group and then patterns were developed using Armstrong’s (2005) jeans foundation method. Patterns were modified and fitted to the selected representative fit models of each body shape group. The developed shape-driven block patterns were simulated on the fit testers to further explore the relationship between body shape and fit issues. This study suggests that two individuals with identical body measurements may experience very different fit problems tailored to their different body shapes. It was found that each body shape would exclusively experience unique fit issues. Furthermore, the shape driven block patterns were found to be highly correlated with their host body shape category. This research implies that if the mass customization process starts with block patterns that are engineered for specific body shape categories significantly less fit issues would appear and the desired fit would be achieved in fewer fitting sessions.
... In addition the phenomenon of vanity sizing is recognised, where clothes with the same size label have become larger over recent decades. This has become a common practice of clothing manufacturers, which may potentially impede comparisons of sizes over time [35]. Indeed, the Chief Medical Officer for England has highlighted this 'size inflation' as a risk for society normalising overweight [36]. ...
Article
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... Promoting healthy food choice is a central issue for public welfare and a continuous challenge for marketers and policy makers, given that, in the USA alone, over one third of children and over two thirds of adults are overweight or obese (Ogden et al. 2014). Research has examined multiple marketing communication elements to understand consumption behavior and identify means to promote healthy consumption, including nutrition labels (Aydinoğlu and Krishna 2012;Burton et al. 2009;Wansink and Chandon 2006), packaging sizes and subpackages (Wansink 1996;Wansink et al. 2011), and charity logos (Minton and Cornwell 2015). To contribute to this research stream, this paper examines the nuances of one advertising tactic, mental simulation, in creating effective messages, and promoting healthy food choice. ...
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Promoting healthy food choice is a central issue for public welfare and a continuous challenge for marketers and policy makers. This research examines how marketing communication elements, such as visuals and text, can be used to encourage healthy food choices. Extending previous research in automatic process mental simulation, this research examines whether visual presentations of food items can trigger a different type of automatic mental simulation that is outcome oriented. Results from four studies show that visual presentations of food items in an advertisement can trigger process and outcome automatic mental simulation (AMS) of food consumption, and AMS interacts with an advertisement’s instructed mental simulation (IMS) to influence consumer healthy food choice. Contributing to marketing research in using IMS in advertising to promote product offerings, this research demonstrates that the success of IMS cues varies depending not only on the amount, but more importantly, the type of AMS triggered from visual cues.
... Subterfuge can be used to discreetly include a greater number of consumers: this is known as vanity sizing. Rather than strictly adapting to the changes in human measurements by adding larger sizes, many clothing manufacturers make larger items but maintain the same traditional sizing charts and the same labels (Aydinoğlu and Krishna, 2012). Patrick, who headed the 2006 measurements campaign for the French textile and clothing institute (IFTH), explains: ...
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By studying fashion market, this research analyzes domination stakes existing between two market categories: the primary market of mainstream fashion and the secondary market of plus size fashion. It observes dynamics based on practices and material tools which create symbolic and physical (in)visibility of market categories. This study opens up new perspectives in our efforts to understand market dynamics. First, it shows that categorisation is not only a matter of representations, discourses or social interactions, but also involves material initiatives. Materiality emerges as a tool of visibility and invisibility. Second, this study reveals the stakes of social visibility. Behind physical invisibility (not being seen, being hidden, …) lies social invisibility (not existing socially), which explains the feelings of stigmatization and exclusion among curvaceous women.
... It seems interesting that in a number of studies, vanity is associated with the appearance, external data of a person, in particular with his size, for example research by N.Z. Aydinoğlu and A. Krishna [10]. Brett A.S. Martin investigate vanity as a form of consumption behavior [11]. ...
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The article presents the results of a comparative analysis of self-assessment of ambition of students - representatives of Y and Z generations. The aim of the study was to identify the similarities and differences in self-esteem of ambition and the degree of its expression among young people of different generations. A cross-sectional survey of young people's ambition was conducted in 2009 (Gen Y youth) and 2020 (Gen Z youth). The study involved 200 young people aged 18-22: 106 young people of generation Y and 94 young people of generation Z. To study ambition, the “Ambition” questionnaire (O.V. Barsukova) was used. Most of the young people of generation Y assess themselves as ambitious or rather ambitious people (70.42%), slightly more than a quarter of students (28.17%) consider themselves to be un-ambitious people or rather un-ambitious than ambitious people. The minimum number of students found it difficult to assess themselves (1.41%). Most of the young people of generation Y rate their ambition as high (45.07%), about a third of them - as moderate (30.99%), about a quarter of them - as low (23.94%). The majority of young people of generation Z (70.22%) consider themselves ambitious people or rather ambitious than un-ambitious people, about a third of them (29.79%) consider themselves un-ambitious people or rather un-ambitious than ambitious people. There were no young people who found it difficult to assess themselves. Most of the young people of generation Z rate their ambition as moderate (51.06%), just over a third of them - as high (36.17%), the minimum number - as low (12.77%). There were no significant differences in the self-esteem of ambition and in the degree of its expression among young people belonging to different generations.
... Building on this significance of self-referencing, we focus on the activation of self-related imagery through the correct use of pictures in advertising, while considering consumer selfperceptions. Similar to Aydinoglu and Krishna (2012), we define self-related mental imagery as "consumers' visualization of the self in product purchase, trial, or usage situations." Although concrete pictures are representational in nature, we propose that a consideration of domain-specific consumer self-esteem when choosing a particular picture will improve its self-relatedness for the consumers and lead to an easier and increased generation of self-related mental imagery. ...
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We suggest that a consideration of consumer self-evaluations is fundamental to understanding the conditions under which it is more advantageous to present person or product pictures in print advertisements. We build on the basic human motives of self-enhancement and self-verification to propose that the specific self-esteem level of consumers, in the domain relevant for the category, differentially affects their responses to picture type. Specifically, for consumers with low (high) domain-specific self-esteem, depicting a product (person) in the advertisement enhances attitudes toward the advertisement more than depicting a person (product). In two studies, we demonstrate the proposed matching relationships using two different domains of consumer self-evaluation: appearance self-esteem and academic self-esteem. We also show that increased and more fluent generation of self-related mental imagery drives the observed improvement in attitudes toward the advertisement. Our findings suggest direct implications for advertising design.
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The average weight of the population has risen rapidly in much of the world. Concurrently, in recent years, advertisers have begun using larger models in their campaigns, and many of these advertisements claim that their larger models (vs. the thin models commonly used) possess "realistic" body types. Many groups have lauded these moves as beneficial for promoting a healthy body image in society. However, in fivestudies, the authors find that cues suggesting the acceptance of larger body types result in greater intended or actual consumption of food and a reduced motivation to engage in a healthier lifestyle. The authors suggest that the reason being larger bodied appears to be contagious is that, because it is considered more socially permissible, people exhibit lower motivation to engage in healthy behaviors and consume greater portions of unhealthy food. The authors also contrast acceptance with communications stigmatizing various body types and identify limitations of both approaches. They conclude with implications for public policy.
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The act of hand washing has been a routine part of hygienic practices across time and society. Aside from its physiological effects, hand washing has also been shown to symbolically cleanse individuals of their transgressions. However, most research demonstrating the metaphorical effect of hand washing has mainly been focused within the domain of morality. The objective of the current research is to explore the role of hand washing on consumption behavior, and more specifically, hedonic food consumption. Across two studies, this article establishes the role of hand washing after hedonic food consumption as well as prior to a hedonic food choice. In Study 1, washing one's hands after consumption of hedonic food decreased perceived guilt. In Study 2, washing one's hands prior to choice led to an increased likelihood of choosing a more hedonic (compared to less hedonic) food item. Thus, by washing one's hands, individuals are provided with a license to indulge in hedonic foods without the guilt that is commonly associated with such a choice. Several implications for consumer behavior research and the effects of hand washing on food decision making are discussed.
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This paper examines the size charts of 54 American apparel retailers. Evidence reveals that sizes are inflated for women's apparel brands with moderately higher prices. Very expensive designer brands measure significantly smaller than lower priced brands for women's apparel. Brands that target young adult female consumers measure significantly smaller than their counterparts that target relatively older consumers.
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For almost 50 years, psychologists have understood that what is beautiful is perceived as good. This simple and intuitively appealing hypothesis has been confirmed in many ways, prompting a wide range of studies documenting the depth and breadth of its truth. Yet, for what is arguably one of the most important forms of "goodness" that there is-moral goodness-research has told a different story. Although greater attractiveness is associated with a host of positive attributes, it has been only inconsistently associated with greater perceived morality (or lesser immorality), and meta-analyses have suggested the total effect of beauty on moral judgment is near zero. The current research documents one plausible reason for this. Across nine experiments employing a variety of methodological and measurement strategies, we show how attractiveness can be perceived as both morally good and bad. We found that attractiveness causally influences beliefs about vanity, which translates into beliefs that more attractive targets are less moral and more immoral. Then, we document a positive association between attractiveness and sociability-the nonmoral component of warmth-and show how sociability exerts a countervailing positive effect on moral judgments. Likewise, we document findings suggesting that vanity and sociability mutually suppress the effects of attractiveness on each other and on moral judgments. Ultimately, this work provides a comprehensive process account of why beauty seems good but can also be perceived as less moral and more immoral, highlighting complex interrelations among different elements of person perception. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
The purpose of the study was to identify demographic variables associated with women's body mass index (BMI) and body size perceptions and to determine if BMI affects body size perception. SizeUSA data (n = 6,811) were used for the data analysis. A multinomial regression between demographic variables, BMI, and body size perception showed that each demographic variable was a significant predictor of a women's BMI and body size perception. Results can be used to understand the BMI and body size perceptions of female consumers. Retailers can use the results to customize merchandise assortments for each store based on their target market's demographics.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to compare a set of product specifications to evaluate appearance and performance characteristics of denim jeans at three price categories, and identify any relationships between price and product quality. Design/methodology/approach This research is as a quasi-experimental laboratory study. The product specifications of jeans are identified. Next, the appearance and performance characteristics of jeans are examined initially and after one and five repeated laundering cycles. The data are analyzed within and between each price category to identify any possible relationship between price and product quality. Findings The price category of jeans does not necessarily reflect different dimensions of product quality. Although higher priced jeans had superior product specifications and visual appearance, they did not show superior performance with respect to all elements of fit, durability, and color performance when these three factors were measured through laboratory testing. Research limitations/implications The limitations of this study from a research perspective include a small sample size, gender-focused sample selection. and the focus on only three retail categories. These limitations impact the generalizability of the results but could serve as a basis for similar studies. The evaluated product quality attributes were limited to intrinsic/measurable characteristics. Future studies should consider the extrinsic attributes of quality, especially as they are related to consumer’s purchasing decision. Practical implications Retailers in moderate and budget price categories can benefit from educating consumers about the quality attributes of jeans that would ultimately influence their post-purchase experience and are not necessarily related to the product’s price category. Educators can use this information to assist in teaching students about the multiple dimensions of materials and assembly choices, and how this will impact their final products as they are learning the apparel product development process. Originality/value The focus of this study on the quantification of intrinsic product attributes is unique and provides measurable data for product evaluation by consumer researchers and industry. The results of this research identify the strengths and weaknesses in the appearance and performance characteristics of jeans in different price categories, and how those may affect consumers’ purchase intention.
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Objective This study aimed to investigate trends and sociodemographic factors underlying weight misperception in adults with overweight and obesity in England. Methods This study used descriptive and logistic regression analyses based on a pooled nationally representative cross‐sectional survey, Health Survey for England, for the years 1997, 1998, 2002, 2014, and 2015 of individuals with BMI ≥ 25 (n = 23,459). The main outcomes were (1) weight misperception and (2) weight‐loss attempts as well as the associations with demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and health status. Results The proportion of individuals with overweight and obesity misperceiving their weight status increased over time between 1997 and 2015 (37% to 40% in men; 17% to 19% in women). There were socioeconomic disparities in the misperception of weight status, with lower‐educated individuals from poorer‐income households and members of minority ethnic groups being more likely to underestimate their weight. Those underestimating their overweight and obesity status were 85% less likely to try to lose weight compared with people who accurately identified their weight status. Conclusions The upward trend in underassessment of overweight and obesity status in England is possibly a result of the normalization of overweight and obesity. Obesity prevention programs need to consider differential sociodemographic characteristics associated with underassessment of weight status.
Article
Résumé En étudiant le marché de la mode, cette recherche analyse le rapport de domination existant entre deux catégories de marché : un marché principal, celui de la mode conventionnelle et un marché secondaire, la mode grande taille. Elle observe les dynamiques à partir des pratiques et dispositifs matériels qui créent l’(in)visibilité symbolique et physique des catégories de marché. Ce travail ouvre de nouvelles perspectives sur la compréhension des dynamiques de marché. Premièrement, l’article montre que la catégorisation n’est pas seulement une question de représentations, de discours ou d’interactions sociales, mais implique aussi des dispositifs matériels. La matérialité apparait comme un dispositif de visibilité et d’invisibilité. Deuxièmement, l’article met en avant les enjeux de la visibilité sociale. Derrière l’invisibilité physique (ne pas être vu, être caché…) se cache l’invisibilité sociale (ne pas exister socialement). D’où le sentiment de stigmatisation et d’exclusion des femmes rondes.
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Yazılı ve görsel medya tarafından sunulan ideal beden temsilinin, kadınlar üzerindeki olumsuz etkileri günden güne artmaktadır. "İnceysen güzelsin"temeline dayanan bu temsil,kadınlarda özgüven azalması, yetersizlik hissinin oluşması gibi psikolojik sorunların ortaya çıkmasına neden olmaktadır.Tüm bu bahsedilenler kadınların mental ve duygusal tutumları ile birlikte tüketim davranışlarını da etkilemekte, bununla birlikte firmaların durumu fırsata çevirmesine yönelik yöntemler geliştirmesini de sağlamaktadır. Bu kapsamda, giysilere olması gerekenden daha küçük beden numarası verilmesi olarak tanımlanan saptırılmış beden uygulaması (vanitysizing) giyim firmaları tarafından kullanılan yöntemlerden biriolmuş,uygulamanın psikoloji ve satın alma davranışları üzerindeki olumlu etkisiaraştırmalar ile kanıtlanmıştır.Türk giyim sektöründesaptırılmış beden uygulaması kullanımınınbelirlenmesi amacı ile gerçekleştirilen bu betimsel araştırma, rastgele örnekleme yöntemi ile belirlenmiş 13 hazır giyim firması üzerine kurgulanmıştır. Çalışmada tekil tarama metodundan yararlanılarak firmaların kullandıkları beden ölçüleri grafikler eşliğinde önceliklekendi aralarında, ardından İTKİB tarafından sektörde ortak ölçü dili oluşturmak için geliştirilen standart ölçü tablosu ile karşılaştırılmıştır. Ayrıca beden saptırma uygulamalarınınsektörel yayılımınıbelirlemek için örneklem grubunu oluşturanfirmaların ölçü ortalamalarıİTKİB ölçüleri ile karşılaştırılmıştır. Araştırma sonucunda, saptırılmış beden uygulamalarının Türkiye hazır giyim sektöründe sıklıkla kullanıldığı, ölçü standartlarında sorun yaşandığı ve beden saptırmak için yapılan ölçü değişikliklerinin en çok kalçadaen az ise belde gerçekleştirildiği öne çıkan bulgular arasında yer almıştır.
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We show that subtle differences in textual marketing communications can impact the evocation of consumption-imagery, implicitly subsuming all the senses, which consequently affects consumer attitudes toward the communication and the product. Specifically, we demonstrate, through four experiments, that retail-store deals which communicate stronger association between products (“get matching shirt free”) are more imagery-evocative compared to those with weaker association (“get second item free”), thereby impacting consumer evaluations. We use literature on imagery, sensory perception, and information processing, specifically relational and item-specific processing, to build our hypotheses. We also provide evidence for how working memory capacity limitations disrupt imagery processing. Our results on effective communication of retail-store deals are even more crucial in today's digital marketplace where imagery is especially important.
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This monograph describes the marketing research that has been published in the top marketing journals since their inception relating to health care, broadly defined. Over 1,000 articles are summarized across the chapters relating to consumer behavior and food, consumer behavior and other consumption, and business marketing issues. Research from outside of marketing is also briefly reviewed. This monograph celebrates the research that has been accomplished and closes with suggestions for future research.
Thesis
En étudiant le marché de la mode, cette recherche analyse les enjeux de légitimité existant entre deux catégories de marché : le marché principal de la mode conventionnelle et le marché secondaire de la mode grande taille. En nous appuyant sur la Consumer Culture Theory, nous observons les dynamiques à partir des pratiques et dispositifs matériels, qui créent l’(in)visibilité symbolique, physique et sociale des catégories de marché. Notre travail doctoral ouvre de nouvelles perspectives sur la compréhension des dynamiques de marché. La première contribution met en évidence quatre types de dynamiques (dynamiques d’attractivité, d’opposition, circulaires et systémiques), qui permettent de renforcer la légitimité de la catégorie de marché de mode conventionnelle au détriment de la catégorie de marché de mode grande taille. La deuxième contribution montre que la catégorisation n’est pas seulement une question de représentations, de discours ou d’interactions sociales, mais implique aussi des dispositifs matériels. La matérialité apparaît comme un dispositif de visibilité et d’invisibilité. Enfin nous mettons en avant les enjeux de la visibilité sociale. Derrière l’invisibilité physique (ne pas être vu, être caché…) se cache l’invisibilité sociale (ne pas exister socialement). Les consommatrices rondes se sentent alors illégitimes, et exclues du marché de la mode.
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Embracing a positive-psychology approach to well-being, this study aimed at identifying how to maximize students’ pleasure when receiving grades. Results from two experiments showed that students gained greater pleasure when receiving feedback in letter-grade format than in percentage scores. The results are consistent with social–psychological and sociocognitive research wherein coarser (as opposed to more granular) feedback is easier to process, provides superior self-affirming feedback, and, subsequently, garners greater pleasure. As the management discipline wrestles with being “too scientific,” an impression aligned with precise percentage scores, use of a coarser feedback system may present a unique auxiliary benefit to the discipline. We invite future research on whether a system can be too coarse, on faculty’s amenability to coarse grading systems, and on the concurrent use of multiple grading systems varying in coarseness.
Chapter
In this chapter, I revise and advance the traditional design thinking process applied to food innovation. The widespread of food experiences and the expected increasing urgency of food problems ask for an innovative approach to create healthy and pleasurable food experiences for consumer well-being. Indeed, today’s food consumption has evolved from the focus on products to a focus on experiences, and design thinking as, nowadays, applied to food does not emphasize enough design experiences according to the different stages of the experiential food journey (Batat et al. 2019) that lead consumers to achieve their food well-being. I argue that the current design thinking as an approach to food innovation and problem-solving does not embed food consumption within the changing experience of consumers and thus has a narrow vision and a limited perspective, which does not focus on the whole food experience and consumer well-being as both a driver and an outcome throughout the experiential food journey.
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This review of mental imagery research has the core objective of fostering more research on the topic of sensory imagery. The review is organized around a conceptual framework highlighting (i) how mental imagery is formed, (ii) the elicitation and elaboration of mental imagery, (iii) the multi‐modal nature of sensory imagery, and (iv) the consumer behavior consequences of mental imagery. This conceptual framework provides many new lenses through which researchers can view prior findings, and thereby motivates innovative new research ideas. Future research directions are provided in each section of the review, with additional unexplored opportunities presented in a final section.
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Vanity sizing has become a popular retail trend and recent work shows it has a favorable impact on consumers. However, as the current research demonstrates, significant variations in sizing standards across retailers mean that consumers are as likely to encounter larger sizes as they are smaller, “vanity” sizes when shopping, highlighting the importance of understanding how consumers react to this potential threat in the marketplace. Across five studies we demonstrate that larger sizes result in negative evaluations of clothing and show that these effects are driven by consumers' appearance self-esteem. Importantly, we also find that instead of unilaterally lowering purchase intent as one might assume, larger sizes can actually increase spending, as consumers engage in compensatory consumption to help repair their damaged self-esteem. In so doing, this research reveals a dynamic and complex relationship between consumers and sizing labels, where shopping can serve to build, strengthen, threaten, and/or repair appearance self-esteem.
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Three studies asked why people sometimes seek positive feedback (self-enhance) and sometimes seek subjectively accurate feedback (self-verify). Consistent with self-enhancement theory, people with low self-esteem as well as those with high self-esteem indicated that they preferred feedback pertaining to their positive rather than negative self-views. Consistent with self-verification theory, the very people who sought favorable feedback pertaining to their positive self-conceptions sought unfavorable feedback pertaining to their negative self-views, regardless of their level of global self-esteem. Apparently, although all people prefer to seek feedback regarding their positive self-views, when they seek feedback regarding their negative self-views, they seek unfavorable feedback. Whether people self-enhance or self-verify thus seems to be determined by the positivity of the relevant self-conceptions rather than their level of self-esteem or the type of person they are. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Consumers' attraction to a product can often be based on the subjective reactions that they imagine they would have if they personally used it. Three experiments examine the effects of self-focused attention on the use of this criterion and the conditions in which it is applied. When features of the judgment (social or nonsocial) context are similar to those of the situation in which the products are normally used, self-focused attention increases participants' disposition to imagine themselves using the products they evaluate, and in turn, these imaginings increase both their evaluations of these products and their likelihood of choosing these products as a gift for taking part in the experiment. The effects occur when features of the judgment context are manipulated both by incidental background music and by the presence of others in the situation at hand. However, when either self-focused attention is low or features of the judgment context are dissimilar to those in which the products are normally used, these effects are not apparent.
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This paper studies the presence, resilience and direction of the self-positivity bias under various conditions to examine the role of self-esteem maintenance as an important antecedent for the bias. Experiment 1 manipulates the perceptions of the uncontrollability of cancer and presence of base-rate information as independent variables that together eliminate the self-positivity bias in perceptions of the risk of cancer. Experiment 2 shows the same effects using four life events that differ in terms of valence and perceived controllability. That is, base-rate information affects self-estimates for uncontrollable life events, reducing the self-positivity bias, but does not affect self-estimates for controllable events. Experiment 3 shows that these effects only apply to optimistic individuals who fail to incorporate base-rate information into their self-perceptions for controllable events. In contrast, pessimists use base-rates to update their self-estimates irrespective of the controllability of the event. Overall, the pattern suggests that self-positivity is attenuated in conditions that implicate self-esteem. Implications for health-care marketing are discussed.
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Research has repeatedly shown that substantial benefits accrue to those who are attractive. Knowledge of such benefits seems to be shared by the general public, and billions of dollars annually are spent on appearance-enhancing products. This article examines the functions of adornments and their linkage to attractiveness assessments. In addition, a number of influences on level of adornment usage are described. Finally, consequences for marketers are discussed along with a proposed research agenda.
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In this research, the authors examine the impact of imagination-focused visualization on the evaluation of really new products (RNPs) - that is, products that provide novel benefits but involve high learning costs. They compare imagination-focused visualization with memory-focused visualization and demonstrate that an imaginative focus leads to higher evaluations of an RNP but has no effect on the evaluation of incrementally new products, which involve continuous innovations that are easier to understand. They find that the underlying mechanism for this effect is imagination’s impact on the perceived value of new benefits rather than on the learning costs. Furthermore, they show that the advantage of an imaginative focus is not simply due to the increased focus on product benefits, because imagination still leads to higher product evaluation than memory-focused visualization, even if participants in both conditions are asked to think about product benefits exclusively. Finally, an explicit focus on learning costs while using an imaginative approach draws attention away from product benefits and attenuates the advantage of imagination on product evaluation.
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Moderated multiple regression models allow the simple relationship between the dependent variable and an independent variable to depend on the level of another independent variable. The moderated relationship, often referred to as the interaction, is modeled by including a product term as an additional independent variable. Moderated relationships are central to marketing (e.g., Does the effect of promotion on sales depend on the market segment?). Multiple regression models not including a product term are widely used and well understood. The authors argue that researchers have derived from this simpler type of multiple regression several data analysis heuristics that, when inappropriately generalized to moderated multiple regression, can result in faulty interpretations of model coefficients and incorrect statistical analyses, Using theoretical arguments and constructed data sets, the authors describe these heuristics, discuss how they may easily be misapplied, and suggest some good practices for estimating, testing, and interpreting regression models that include moderated relationships.
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Baron and Kenny's procedure for determining if an independent variable affects a dependent variable through some mediator is so well known that it is used by authors and requested by reviewers almost reflexively. Many research projects have been terminated early in a research program or later in the review process because the data did not conform to Baron and Kenny's criteria, impeding theoretical development. While the technical literature has disputed some of Baron and Kenny's tests, this literature has not diffused to practicing researchers. We present a nontechnical summary of the flaws in the Baron and Kenny logic, some of which have not been previously noted. We provide a decision tree and a step-by-step procedure for testing mediation, classifying its type, and interpreting the implications of findings for theory building and future research. (c) 2010 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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The research agenda for this article is to examine how individuals process information presented through virtual interaction with a product (object interactivity) and the impact that this has on their purchase intentions if they are looking for an aesthetic experience (browsers) or to find specific information (searchers). It is proposed that the congruency between users' goals and the delivery of product information will influence discursive processing and thus attitudes. However, what is most effective for creating favorable product attitudes is not necessarily most effective in raising purchase intentions. This is because imagery processing should play a more prominent role in affecting purchase intentions because, when estimating their own behavior, people likely run a mental simulation of themselves performing that behavior. It is predicted that object interactivity will evoke vivid mental images of product use regardless of the users' goals and thus increase intentions. The results of four experiments support these hypotheses. Copyright 2003 by the University of Chicago.
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Consumer researchers seem to believe that the use of imagery increases recall, enhances attitude toward the brand, and positively affects behavioral intentions. Yet few empirical investigations of imagery effects have been conducted in a consumer-behavior context. In this article, we provide a theoretical rationale based on extant literature as to which imagery content variables may influence imagery and how imagery may, in turn, affect key purchase-related variables such as attitudes and behavioral intentions. In addition, the results of two empirical investigations are presented. These studies address how self versus other relatedness and situation plausibility affect the degree of reported imagery and subsequently affect ad and brand evaluations. The results of the two studies show that the focal character and plausibility of the imagined scene influence the degree of imagery evoked by the message. Focal character is shown to directly affect attitude toward the ad. In addition, we find that imagery directly influences attitude toward the ad but has no effect on attitude toward the brand or behavioral intentions.
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Mental imagery is receiving increased attention in consumer behavior theory and research. This article describes imagery, characterizing it as a processing mode in which multisensory information is represented in a gestalt form in working memory, and discusses research on the unique effects of imagery at low levels of cognitive elaboration. It specifies researchable propositions for the relationship between high elaboration imagery processing and consumer choice and consumption behaviors. Finally, it reviews specific methods for studying imagery.
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This study postulates that the presence of a dominant picture in a print ad can alter a consumer's cognitive activity while viewing the ad. Using the findings of previous research, we develop a model of the process by which a viewer evaluates, encodes, and stores information found in the ad. This model is tested in a laboratory setting. The results clearly indicate that the way a message is conveyed (pictorially or verbally), whether the viewer is given some reference point for encoding the picture (framed or not framed), and the type of claim made (objective, subjective, or characterization) have a significant effect on the processing of the information presented in the advertisements. These differences in processing are also shown to affect the viewer's brand attitudes and purchase intentions.
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Procedures for examining whether treatment effects on an outcome are mediated and/or moderated have been well developed and are routinely applied. The mediation question focuses on the intervening mechanism that produces the treatment effect. The moderation question focuses on factors that affect the magnitude of the treatment effect. It is important to note that these two processes may be combined in informative ways, such that moderation is mediated or mediation is moderated. Although some prior literature has discussed these possibilities, their exact definitions and analytic procedures have not been completely articulated. The purpose of this article is to define precisely both mediated moderation and moderated mediation and provide analytic strategies for assessing each.
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The present study tested whether theoretically derived risk factors predicted increases in body dissatisfaction and whether gender moderated these relations with data from a longitudinal study of 428 adolescent girls and boys because few prospective studies have examined these aims, despite evidence that body dissatisfaction increases risk for various psychiatric disturbances. Body dissatisfaction showed significant increases for girls and significant decreases for boys during early adolescence. For both genders parental support deficits, negative affectivity, and self-reported dietary restraint, but not Ideal body internalization, body mass index, and eating pathology, showed significant relations to future increases in body dissatisfaction; peer support deficits showed a marginal relation to this outcome. Gender did not moderate these relations, despite adequate power to detect interactive effects.
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A common belief among marketing practitioners is that increasing the vividness of a message enhances its persuasiveness. This belief has received support in experimental investigations, but vividness also has been found to undermine persuasion or to have no effect. The authors extend a current view of memory operation to predict when and how vividness will affect persuasion. According to this view, the favorableness of available information determines the persuasive effect of vividness. This assertion is tested and supported in a series of experiments. The findings are discussed in terms of strategies for controlling vividness effects.
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Sixty-four adult women and 46 adult men participated in a study of the relationship between current weight status and body-image satisfaction. Results showed that in women there is a positive linear relationship between current weight status and body-shape dissatisfaction; that is, as weight increases, body-shape dissatisfaction rises. In men, different forms of dissatisfaction are reported across the weight spectrum; that is, men who are overweight wish to be thinner whereas normal weight or underweight men wish to have a larger physique. When the degree to which specific physical characteristics (e.g., facial features, height, hair, etc.) match ideals and the importance placed on meeting these ideals are considered together in relation to current weight status, a significant linear relationship is found for women but not for men. Women who weigh more generally report greater important self-ideal discrepancies compared to lower-weight women who tend to report important self-ideal congruencies.
Conference Paper
This research is an attempt to get a qualitative understanding of what makes women want to change their looks by consuming beauty products and services. It is the objective of this work to understand how the physical female vanity influences the consumption of beauty products and services. Using a qualitative methodology based on interviews, consumption motivations and strategies employed by women in the search for modifying and enhancing physical appearance were revealed. In terms of consumption, so far, the physical vanity turned up to be an ambiguous concept, originating a continuum ranging from a positive construct, balanced vanity, to a negative construct, extreme vanity
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A common belief among marketing practitioners is that increasing the vividness of a message enhances its persuasiveness. This belief has received support in experimental investigations, but vividness also has been found to undermine persuasion or to have no effect. The authors extend a current view of memory operation to predict when and how vividness will affect persuasion. According to this view, the favorableness of available information determines the persuasive effect of vividness. This assertion is tested and supported in a series of experiments. The findings are discussed in terms of strategies for controlling vividness effects.
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Male and female college students rated 40 pictures of women’s apparel in terms of the extent to which men would be sexually aroused by women wearing the various styles of clothes. These ratings correlated.85, indicating that females are very knowledgeable concerning the sexual impact of clothing styles upon men. A second phase of the study demonstrated that women who perceive themselves as being sexually attractive have a marked preference for those clothes judged to be most sexually exciting for men. The results are discussed with respect to possible social implications and the degree of female awareness concerning sexual cue control.
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This study focuses on two complementary modes of elaborative processing in response to advertising: imagery and analysis. Imagery is characterized by nonverbal product-related thoughts, whereas analysis is more semantic and verbal in nature. Two stimulus determinants of ad-induced imaging and analyzing are investigated and related to the purchase consideration of an innovative product. Results show that the consumer's use of imagery is related to the perceived novelty of the advertising stimulus, whereas analyzing is related to less favorable of advertising content. Product-related affect and intention to buy, in turn, are related positively to imaging and negatively to analyzing. Implications for advertising management and research are discussed.
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Results of an experimental study in a print advertising context suggest that two imagery-eliciting strategies, use of pictures and use of copy containing instructions to imagine, stimulate mental imagery processing, which in turn influences attitudinal judgments. Specifically, an ad containing a concrete picture of a product in use was more effective in stimulating vivid visual imagery processing and favorably influencing attitude toward the advertisement and brand than either an ad containing a considerably less concrete picture or one without a picture. Copy containing instructions to imagine also stimulated vivid and elaborate visual imagery processing and enhanced attitudes. Tests for mediation indicate that mental imagery processing explains all or some of the direct effects of the two imagery-eliciting strategies' influence on attitudes.
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Consumer preferences are often influenced by the distinctiveness of the options involved, but do needs for distinctiveness display motivational reward properties? Four studies suggest that they do. Activating needs for distinctiveness impacts the desirability of other, seemingly unrelated rewards, and reciprocally, preferences for distinctiveness are impacted by the presence of seemingly unrelated reward stimuli. Further, these cross-domain spillover effects were moderated by sensitivity to the general reward system and satiated by even seemingly unrelated intervening rewards. These findings shed light on the nature of distinctiveness and its implications for consumer behavior.
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The extent to which a possession is linked to self is a critical determinant of whether a possession elicits grief if lost. We propose a framework for understanding the formation of the possession–self link, arguing that a possession's ability to represent the important domains on which a person bases her self-worth affects the possession–self link. We also show that dispositional tendencies to incorporate possessions into the self moderate this relationship, while the monetary value of the possession does not affect the strength of the possession–self link.
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This study was designed to investigate the effects of dual-task processing on consumers' responses to high-versus low-imagery radio advertisements. In a repeated-measures experimental design, participants listened to six high- and six low-imagery radio spots while simultaneously performing a visual-processing task (viewing a series of pictures unrelated to the ads or viewing a blank/black screen). Consistent with theoretical expectations, the high-imagery radio advertisements performed better than the low-imagery ads on measures of advertising involvement, attitude toward the ad, brand attitude, and purchase intention. The study found that high-imagery radio ads are universally superior, but suffer more when there is competition for cognitive resources. When a visual-processing task (viewing pictures) was introduced, consumers' responses became generally less favorable. The pattern of responses, however, varied across ad types and processing conditions. In particular, the detrimental effect of introducing a picture-viewing task was more pronounced for high-imagery ads than for low-imagery ads, as well as on measures of ad-related response (advertising involvement and attitude toward the ad). No such moderating effect was observed for brand-related responses (brand attitude and purchase intention). Theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
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Much research has shown that the stylistic properties of visual images can serve as an important source of persuasion. However, the existing literature seldom incorporates characteristics of consumers, such as self-concept, as a determining factor in the effectiveness of images' stylistic properties. In the context of exploring a specific stylistic property, camera angle, we demonstrate across three experiments that when an upward-looking camera angle is employed to depict a product, participants with an ought-self (motivated by duties and obligations) generate more favorable product evaluations than participants with an ideal-self (motivated by hopes and aspirations). The reverse is found when a downward-looking angle is utilized. We also explore the mechanism underlying these effects. That is, individuals with an ideal-self and ought-self use different control strategies (influencing versus adapting to existing realities) impacting their product evaluations.
Book
This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job-search intensity among 292 unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Support was not found for a relationship between perceived job-search constraints and job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study's duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Mood is distinguished from emotion, and mood regulation is distinguished from coping. A model of mood regulation is presented which draws on principles of control theory, which distinguishes between maximizing pleasure and minimizing psychic pain, and which emphasizes individual differences in several component subprocesses. A preliminary taxonomy of strategies and behaviors for remediating unpleasant affect is presented. Important topics for future research are discussed, including the assessment of successfulness of mood-regulation strategies, affective specificity in strategies (e.g., what works for anger might not work so well for sadness), and person specificity in strategies (e.g., socializing or helping others may be more effective strategies for extraverts than introverts). The relationship of mood regulation to overall life satisfaction and global happiness is discussed.
Article
Conducted 3 experiments with a total of 320 undergraduates taking an introductory psychology course to investigate the effects of 2 "imagery-encouraging" variables-instructional set and imagery ratings-and of the number of dictionary meanings upon recognition and recall. Compared to rote-repetition instructions, interactive imagery instructions produced superior recognition of stimulus words, response words, and pairs. Response recall also was higher following imagery instructions than following repetition instructions. High imagery ratings aided stimulus recognition and response recall, but not response recognition or pair recognition. Thus, the 2 imagery-encouraging variables had different effects upon recognition and recall and cannot be considered as 2 techniques for initiating the same underlying process. The effects of the number of dictionary meanings were independent of the effects of the 2 imagery-encouraging variables, although the meanings interacted with the imagery ratings of the pairs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The Journal of Consumer Research receives manuscripts on an almost daily basis in which researchers have dichotomized a continuous independent variable. From the Journal of Consumer Research's perspective, the relatively small investment in appropriately analyzing and presenting data involving a continuous independent variable is certainly justified compared to the costs of not doing so. I hope this editorial illustrates how easy it can be to present analyses that are performed appropriately. I hope that this editorial will help hasten a death to dichotomizing continuous independent variables-its day, I hope, is behind us. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This is a comprehensive treatment of the subject, embracing the definition of personality and a history of characterology; a consideration of such fundamental concepts as heredity, growth, the self, the transformation of motives ("functional autonomy") and maturity; the structure of personality with special reference to traits, their specificity and consistency; methods of investigation, including psychography, rating, testing and experimental procedures; and the general problem of understanding personality through judgment, inference and intuition. These topics are discussed historically, expositionally and critically. The chief thesis of the work is the uniqueness of the individual. Supporting concepts are the consistency of traits and the functional autonomy (contemporaneousness) of motives. The author attempts, however, "to respect the many-sidedness of the subject-matter of this new science." Thorough documentation assists in this direction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
From a dialectic-interactional perspective, a review of the physical attractiveness research is presented in an attempt to examine a proposed relation between outer appearance and inner psychological characteristics. Four central assumptions about the potential effects of attractiveness relevant to individual development are specified and augmented by supporting social psychological research. The relationship between attractiveness and (a) social stereotyping, (b) social exchange, (c) internalized personality patterns, and (d) social behavior are reviewed. Arguments are advanced for future research on the interdependence of outer and inner developmental progressions under the rubric of a developmental social psychology of beauty. (5½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The argument for a propositional over a pictorial representation for visual imagery has largely taken the form of an attack on the logical coherence of pictorial representations. These attacks have not been valid since one can develop a coherent dual-code model involving pictorial and verbal (nonpropositional) representations. On the other hand, empirical demonstrations that are claimed to support pictorial representations fail to discriminate such representations from propositional ones. It is argued that the failure of the anti- and pro-pictorial arguments stems from a fundamental indeterminancy in deciding issues of representations. It is shown that wide classes of different representations, and in particular propositional vs dual-code models, can be made to yield identical behavior predictions. Criteria such as parsimony and efficiency in addition to prediction of behavior may yield further constraints on representation; and, in particular, it may be possible to establish whether there are 2 codes, one for visual information and one for verbal, or whether there is a single abstract code. It is concluded that barring decisive physiological data, it will not be possible to establish whether an internal representation is pictorial or propositional. (69 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The physical attractiveness of 59 preschoolers (aged 4 yrs 8 mo to 5 yrs 7 mo) was rated by 77 undergraduates. Two measures of social competence, sociometric status and rank in an attention structure, were also obtained. Rank-order correlations among the 3 measures indicated that physical attractiveness was a significant correlate of sociometric rank but not of attention rank. Sociometric and attention ranks were also significantly interrelated. The relationship between attractiveness and sociometric status was stronger for girls than for boys, and attractiveness was not significantly related to attention rank. Partial correlation analyses indicated that attractiveness did not mediate the relationship between attention and sociometric rank. Results suggest that sociometric data may be influenced by variables such as physical attractiveness that are not necessarily related to social competence. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A debate in the marketing literature concerning the relative effectiveness of various imagery-evoking strategies in influencing consumer responses to advertising has been unresolved. This study examined the effects of three imagery-evoking strategies commonly used in radio advertising—sound effects, vivid verbal messages, and instructions to imagine—in influencing mental imagery, ad-evoked feelings, and attitude toward the ad. The theoretical basis for the study is an imagery model based on propositional representations theory. Consistent with the implications of the theory, of the three strategies, sound effects had the greatest impact on imagery and affective responses. Compared with sound effects, a vivid verbal message had a slightly weaker influence. Instructions to imagine, however, had a very weak impact on imagery and no significant influence on affect. Finally, the results indicated that the three strategies interacted with one another. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Article
The role of visual processing in new product evaluation with the prime goal of providing insights into the role of visualization contents was discussed. The role of visualization content in product evaluation related to two separate types of products mainly incremental products and really new products. The results show that visualizing with self-related images led to higher evaluations for the incremental products. The ability to self-reference during evaluation provided positive benefits to the evaluation outcome. The evaluations were integrated into a discussion of the managerial implications and the potential avenues for future research in the area.
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This article examines the measurement of short-lived (i.e., state) changes in self-esteem. A new scale is introduced that is sensitive to manipulations designed to temporarily alter self-esteem, and 5 studies are presented that support the scale's validity. The State Self-Esteem Scale (SSES) consists of 20 items modified from the widely used Janis-Field Feelings of Inadequacy Scale (Janis & Field, 1959). Psychometric analyses revealed that the SSES has 3 correlated factors: performance, social, and appearance self-esteem. Effects of naturally occurring and laboratory failure and of clinical treatment on SSES scores were examined; it was concluded that the SSES is sensitive to these sorts of manipulations. The scale has many potential uses, which include serving as a valid manipulation check index, measuring clinical change in self-esteem, and untangling the confounded relation between mood and self-esteem.
Article
The possibility that the so-called physical attractiveness stereotype may contain a “kernel of truth” was investigated in a study where college students interacted with opposite sex partners whom they could not see. Each student engaged in three telephone conversations and rated their telephone partners for social skill, anxiety, liking, and desirability for future interaction, and were themselves subsequently rated for physical attractiveness by three independent observers. As hypothesized, the more physically attractive students were rated by their telephone partners as more socially skillful and more likable than their less attractive counterparts.
Article
This study examines how advertisements containing thin or heavy models influence the self-esteem of overweight, normal, and underweight consumers. Previous research has mainly examined the influences of variations of the comparison standard on self-evaluative outcomes, whereas we examine how the relative position of the self on the comparison dimension may moderate these effects. Three studies manipulated the size (thin vs. heavy) and extremity of the size (moderate vs. extreme) of advertising models and exposed these images to individuals differing in Body Mass Index (BMI) levels. Our findings indicate that social comparison processes and subsequent self-evaluative and behavioral outcomes are different for individuals differing in their BMI. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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The self-concept literature in consumer behavior can be characterized as fragmented, incoherent, and highly diffuse. This paper critically reviews self-concept theory and research in consumer behavior and provides recommendations for future research.
Article
How do preferences change when consumers focus on the anticipated satisfaction with a purchase rather than choice? In a series of three studies, we show that preferences, both expressed and revealed, change depending on the degree to which anticipated satisfaction is evoked. These shifts in preferences arise because, compared to choice, anticipated satisfaction elicits a mental-imaging processing strategy that is both more effort intensive and qualitatively different. By providing direct evidence from thought protocols and by presenting evidence suggesting that these shifts in preferences vanish when mental imagery is discouraged or made more difficult, we show that the effect arises out of a processing strategy that requires effortful mental imagery of one or more of the options in the decision-making task. Finally, we demonstrate the uniqueness of the effect by showing that it cannot be generated with heightened processing or by an orientation that is directed toward the extent to which the options are liked. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.
Article
This is a survey of the prevalence of weight reducing and weight gaining in high school children. Our sample of 1,373 high school girls and boys was geographically, racially, and economically diverse. On the day of the survey, 63% of the girls and 16.2% of the boys reported being on weight reducing regimens; 9.1% of the girls and 28.4% of the boys were trying to gain weight. Most female reducers and male gainers were already normal weight. Compared to other racial groups, whites and Hispanics were more likely to be reducing, whereas blacks were more likely to be gaining. Exercise and moderate caloric reduction were most popular for weight reducing, and a small but significant number were regularly using fasting, vomiting, laxatives, and appetite suppressants. The direction of weight modification for girls and boys conformed to stereotyped physical ideals. The rate of weight reducing in female high school adolescents has increased significantly since similar surveys of American youths 20 years ago.
Article
Tested short- and long-term recall of 2 independent groups of 24 undergraduates each instructed in mental imagery or rote repetition. Independent variables of interpolated tasks (visual and auditory) and words of high and low imagery value were manipulated within groups. Results show that (a) recall performance was superior for the imaginal instructional set as opposed to the rote repetition condition, and for words of high imagery value in contrast to low imagery words; (b) the visual language task and the auditory nonverbal task provided differential and maximal interference under imaginal and rote repetition conditions, respectively; and (c) the visual pictorial task provided only negligible interference under either condition. The theory that mental imagery and auditory information are functionally related to representational mechanisms in distinct imaginal visual and auditory memory systems is discussed.
Article
Body concerns, dieting, and weight watching were examined in 30 year 10 adolescent girls. Semistructured interviews consisting of open-ended and rated questions assessed descriptions of and reasons for weight loss attempts, with an emphasis on noting sociocultural influences. Audiotaped and transcribed interviews were assessed for themes, coded and rated. Findings suggested a strong role of sociocultural influences leading to both unhealthy and healthy body attitudes and eating behaviors. Media and fashion were reported to exert the strongest pressures to be thin for subjects. While a few subjects reported direct pressures to diet from friends and parents, indirect social influences were more common. These influences included social comparison, joint dieting and avoidance of social disapproval.
In women's pants, smaller sizes can mean larger prices (pp. D8)
  • T Kinley
Kinley, T. (2003, November 4). In women's pants, smaller sizes can mean larger prices (pp. D8). Tulsa World.