How do social cues in the immediate environment affect older consumers’ tendency to feel younger? And what is the impact of this tendency on consumption? This research investigates the malleability of older consumers’ feel-age and the underlying mechanisms by focusing on the influence of contextual social cues and the downstream effects on consumption behavior. Five experiments provide evidence that the mere presence of young social cues triggers an identity threat for older consumers; and feeling younger is a way to protect the self from negative stereotypes associated with aging. By contrast, young consumers are relatively immune to age-related social cues. Whereas the presence of young social cues magnifies older consumers’ tendency to feel younger, this effect is attenuated when the young social cues are less desirable or when the older consumers possess higher self-esteem. The greater tendency to feel younger in the presence of young social cues increases older consumers’ choice of contemporary over traditional products, especially among those with lower self-esteem. Theoretical insights and practical implications are discussed.

When Feeling Younger Depends on Others: The Effects of Social Cues on Older Consumers

Amatulli C.;Peluso A. M.;Guido G.;
2018

Abstract

How do social cues in the immediate environment affect older consumers’ tendency to feel younger? And what is the impact of this tendency on consumption? This research investigates the malleability of older consumers’ feel-age and the underlying mechanisms by focusing on the influence of contextual social cues and the downstream effects on consumption behavior. Five experiments provide evidence that the mere presence of young social cues triggers an identity threat for older consumers; and feeling younger is a way to protect the self from negative stereotypes associated with aging. By contrast, young consumers are relatively immune to age-related social cues. Whereas the presence of young social cues magnifies older consumers’ tendency to feel younger, this effect is attenuated when the young social cues are less desirable or when the older consumers possess higher self-esteem. The greater tendency to feel younger in the presence of young social cues increases older consumers’ choice of contemporary over traditional products, especially among those with lower self-esteem. Theoretical insights and practical implications are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/420721
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