The role of social presence in mortality salience effects

M.L. Fransen*, D. Smeesters, B.M. Fennis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Terror management theory (TMT Greenberg et at 1986) suggests that reminders of death intensify the desire to express cultural norms leading to culturally prescribed behavior such a charitable giving church attendance and exorbitant spending Living up to these norms provides high level of,elf-esteem which can serve as a buffer against existential anxiety The present paper argues that people can experience an extra self-esteem boost when they act in accordance with cultural norms while others can observe this behavior More specifically the present studies hypothesized and found that the presence of others (i e social presence) moderates mortality salience effects on consumption-related behavior study 1 demonstrates that consumers under conditions of mortality salience express more favorable attitudes towards a luxury brand (valued in Western cultures) when they know that other can observe their behavior Study 2 extended these results to non-luxury brands Under conditions of mortality alience consumers express less favorable evaluations of non-luxury (non-valued brands) when they are aware of the presence of others These results imply that consumers derive self-esteem indirectly from the knowledge that others observe their appropriate behavior rather than directly from following the cultural values or norms of one s society
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2011

Keywords

  • DEATH-RELATED THOUGHTS
  • SELF-ESTEEM
  • TERROR MANAGEMENT
  • CONSUMER-BEHAVIOR
  • ACCESSIBILITY
  • SOCIOMETER
  • PEOPLE
  • NEED

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