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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3V95M

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To Be, Or To Be Another Me: An Investigation Of Self-Concept Change In Consumers Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
materialism
gift-giving
self-affirmation
terror management theory
extended self
self-concept
possessions
consistency
self
self-construal
identity
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schmid, Christian
Supervisor and department
Jennifer J. Argo, Marketing, Business Economics, & Law
Gerald Häubl, Marketing, Business Economics, & Law
Examining committee member and department
Sarah Moore, Marketing, Business Economics, & Law
Robert J. Fisher, Marketing, Business Economics, & Law
Jeff Schimel, Psychology
Naomi Mandel, Marketing, Arizona State University
Department
Faculty of Business
Specialization
Marketing
Date accepted
2010-09-17T17:13:04Z
Graduation date
2010-11
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
In two essays I investigate two antecedents of self-concept change in consumers: Threats to the self and the activated self-construal and its effect on goal conflict resolution. In the first essay, I explore identity strictly as consumers define themselves in terms of the possessions with which they associate. I argue that ironically the very effort to maintain self-consistency through living up to the value of materialism after facing a mortality salience threat can actually undermine consistency on the level of the extended self of highly materialistic consumers. Specifically, when faced with a mortality salience threat, the consistency of highly materialistic consumers’ self-concept is disrupted in which they not only detach from formerly intrinsic possessions, but also make formerly extrinsic possessions a more central part of the extended self-concept. I further argue that consumers can be protected from a disruption to self-concept consistency through the process of self-affirmation. In the second essay, I explore how the activated self-construal impacts whether consumers maximize pleasure or engage in self-presentational behavior after they have been invited to choose a gift for themselves. I demonstrate that consumers with an independent (interdependent) self-construal make more indulgent (modest) gift choices for themselves, and that this effect is driven by the activation of a goal to maximize pleasure (behave normatively appropriate). I also identify a boundary condition: When consumers are able to satisfy their activated goal before selecting a gift, the effects cease to exist.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3V95M
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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