Consumers often give advice by recommending products and services to one another. The present research explores the idea that advice giving sometimes reflects a self-serving desire to compensate for a loss of control. Four experiments provide convergent evidence for a phenomenon we term compensatory word of mouth, whereby consumers' communications contain advice fueled by their own need to restore control. Experiment 1 explores the potential practical relevance of this idea by showing that advertising messages can threaten consumers' sense of control and increase advice giving in word-of-mouth communications. Experiment 2 uses a different paradigm and further demonstrates that a threat to consumers' sense of control increases advice giving. As additional evidence of a compensatory account, Experiment 3 finds that threatened individuals' propensity to give advice is attenuated when they are first given an alternative means to restore a sense of control. Finally, Experiment 4 demonstrates that advice giving can serve a compensatory function by instilling a greater sense of competence that enhances consumers' feelings of control.

Compensatory Word of Mouth: Advice as a Device to Restore Control

Peluso A. M.;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Consumers often give advice by recommending products and services to one another. The present research explores the idea that advice giving sometimes reflects a self-serving desire to compensate for a loss of control. Four experiments provide convergent evidence for a phenomenon we term compensatory word of mouth, whereby consumers' communications contain advice fueled by their own need to restore control. Experiment 1 explores the potential practical relevance of this idea by showing that advertising messages can threaten consumers' sense of control and increase advice giving in word-of-mouth communications. Experiment 2 uses a different paradigm and further demonstrates that a threat to consumers' sense of control increases advice giving. As additional evidence of a compensatory account, Experiment 3 finds that threatened individuals' propensity to give advice is attenuated when they are first given an alternative means to restore a sense of control. Finally, Experiment 4 demonstrates that advice giving can serve a compensatory function by instilling a greater sense of competence that enhances consumers' feelings of control.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/406121
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