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When Not Having Enough Prompts Consumers to Show Off: Reminders of Resource Scarcity Prompt Narcissism

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When Not Having Enough Prompts Consumers to Show Off: Reminders of Resource Scarcity Prompt Narcissism

Goodyear, Laura (2018) When Not Having Enough Prompts Consumers to Show Off: Reminders of Resource Scarcity Prompt Narcissism. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Consumers often think and talk about “not having enough” resources (e.g., money, time, food, etc.). They are also often reminded of their lack of resources by their surroundings, such as when seeing their empty refrigerator, the low gas gauge in their car, an ad about whether they have saved enough money for retirement, or a magazine article about an impending resource shortage. This research examines the effect that reminders of resource scarcity have on consumers’ personality state and resulting product preferences.
Resource scarcity has been shown to prompt consumers to become more selfish and less likely to share resources with others. Past research on narcissism has also demonstrated that this personality trait tends to be related to a selfish orientation. Bridging the gap between these two lines of work, this thesis proposes that reminders of resource scarcity will prompt consumers to become more narcissistic. Further, narcissists tend to prefer high-prestige and conspicuous products, as they help signal higher status to their peers. Consequently, this thesis further proposes that reminders of resource scarcity will shift consumers’ preferences toward more conspicuous products.
Across three experiments, this thesis demonstrates that reminders of resource scarcity increase consumers’ narcissistic tendencies, and that narcissism mediates the effect of reminder of resource scarcity on selfishness. Further, this thesis shows that reminders of resource scarcity prompt consumers to prefer luxury products with more prominent brand logos as a result.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Marketing
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Goodyear, Laura
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Business Administration (Marketing specialization)
Date:21 March 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Roux, Caroline
ID Code:983640
Deposited By: LAURA GOODYEAR
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 04:01
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 04:01
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