There’s a plethora of things to get excited about at this ACR, but here’s a few to prime your appetite for consumer science.
We asked the chairs to write about their session and explain not only the research but let us know why we should be excited and why it’s important.
If you would like to be featured as a “Session to Get Excited About” at a future conference, email us a description of your session following the examples below. (email@example.com )
#1 Social Goals and Word of Mouth
Chair: Hillary Wiener
Details: 11am, Friday, Salon 12
Amazon reviews of everything, angry tweets seen by thousands of people, and viral ads. What do all of these things have in common?
They are all examples what marketers call “word-of-mouth,” or conversations that consumers have about products or experiences with companies.
Word-of-mouth has always been known as a powerful advertising method, but we know surprisingly little about what drives word-of-mouth and what consumers are trying to achieve by talking about products or experiences.
The first paper in this session introduces a framework for understanding word of mouth, after which three other papers show that consumers can fulfill important social goals–the need to make friends, the need to appear competent, and the need to be happy–by having conversations about products and experiences
#2 Beyond Reciprocity: Examining the Interplay Between Money & Relationships
Chairs: Avni Shah & Kathleen Vohs
Details: 3:30pm, Friday, Salon 3
If one could wish for two gifts that would substantially improve life, having money and strong close relationships would be ideal candidates. Money and relationships, while being able to improve life’s outcomes, do so by dramatically different routes and mechanisms—and yet have significant overlap as well. This session peers into the consequences that money and close relationships have for one another –and in doing so reveals some thought-provoking patterns for scientific understanding and consumer welfare.
This session features cutting-edge research in the psychology of money and relationships, and seeks to answer two important questions: 1) How can individuals’ close relationships influence their perceptions of and decision-making with money? 2) Conversely, how can decisions about money influence the behavior and perceptions within relationships? This session explores two fundamental areas of research in consumer research and seeks to understand the theoretical and practical implications to aid consumer well-being.
#3 Consumers’ Prosocial Motives & Decision-Making
Chairs: Leif Nelson and Minah Jung
Details: 8am, Friday, Salon 3
Putting this session together, I learned about what matters to people psychologically in doing something good for society and unrelated people.
The first paper by Yoeli et al. shows that social forces can be more effective than a monetary incentive in stimulating energy-conservation behavior. The second paper featuring my research, looked at how people responded to an opportunity to be generous in a transaction setting in which customers can pay any price they want and a portion of their payment goes to charity. We found that people were much less likely to engage in a pay-what-you-want transaction when any portion, large or small, went to charity. Potential customers simply opted out of the transaction.
In the third paper, Inbar et al. found that people were nice and generous often because they prefer being fair and like to balance out what they did not earn by giving it back to the world at large. The fourth paper by Barasch et al. differs from the other papers in that it looks at how observers perceive the emotional intensity of a prosocial actor. They found that people gave credit to a person who felt good after being generous to others because they perceived the positive emotion as a signal of sincerity or authenticity in charitable giving.
All these findings come with their own little complications, which we’re excited to share with you at ACR this year or one day in print.
#4 From Encoding, to Protecting, to Retrieving: Understanding the Interplay between Social Identity & Consumer Memory
Chair: Amy Dalton
Details: 3:30pm, Saturday, Salon 12
I was excited to organize this session because I think that these papers, collectively, have something important to contribute to both the memory literature and the social identity literature.
Memory is an important topic to explore because consumer decisions are largely memory-based. But most work takes a ‘cold cognition’ approach to studying memory and, as a consequence, little is known about social factors that are important to marketers, like social identity. The work we’re presenting tries to fill this void.
From a social identity perspective, this session is interesting because most social identity research thinks about social-identity-related consumption in terms of product/brand preferences and choice, and doesn’t think about how memory factors in.
The papers in our session will show that memory affects product preference, product disposal, and product evaluation. Also, this relationship is bidirectional: memory affects social-identity-related behaviors, and social identities affect memory.
The last thing I’d like to mention about this session (and why I’m excited about it) is that the papers flow well together. Of course they are all about consumer memory and social identity, but each paper looks at a different aspect of memory. The result is that the session will present a nice overview to the audience about the different ways that memory can be important from a social identity perspective (i.e., social identities affect encoding, memory protection, and memory retrieval).
Some content has been edited with permission by the Indecision Blog staff. For more on each session see the ACR program here.