Track 7: Interpersonal Relations & Group Processes
Eugenia Wu (University of Pittsburgh)

7D. Self Other Perception

Saturday, March 5
3:45pm – 5:15pm EST
Discussant: Brent McFerran (Simon Fraser University)
MC: Tami Kim (University of Virginia)
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Student Coordinator: Priscilla Peña (University of Rhode Island) (

Competitive Papers

Language Properties of Successful Collaborative Conversations
Authors: Alisa Wu (Columbia University, Columbia Business School), Melanie Brucks (Columbia University, Columbia Business School)
Presenting Author: Alisa Wu (Columbia University, Columbia Business School)
We examine why conversations boost individual idea generation. By analyzing text data from two real-time interaction studies, we find that the discussions that boost a consumer’s creativity the most are with people who think most similarly to them. This is because similar others serve as “sounding boards” and clarify thinking.
Social Barriers Loom Larger for the Self (vs. for Others)
Authors: Tess Kwon (University of Pittsburgh), Peggy Liu (University of Pittsburgh), Soo Kim (Nanyang Technological University)
Presenting Author: Tess Kwon (University of Pittsburgh)
Marketers often offer both solitary and social options for their consumption offerings. We investigate how consumers’ choice of solitary versus social consumption options differs as a function of whether they are choosing for themselves or recommending to others. Seven pre-registered studies show that consumers are less likely to choose social (vs. solitary) experiences for themselves than to recommend them to others. This effect occurs because consumers expect themselves to incur greater social hassle as a host of a social experience than others would. An intervention signaling minimal incurrence of social hassle mitigates choice avoidance of social experiences for the self.
In the Face of Self-threat: Why Ambivalence Heightens Consumers’ Willingness to Act
Authors: Taly Reich (Yale University), Alex Fulmer (Yale University), Ravi Dhar (Yale University)
Presenting Author: Alex Fulmer (Yale University)
Be it the choice to ask for a promotion, negotiate a job offer, or even ask a potential romantic partner out on a date, people frequently find themselves deciding whether to approach or avoid desired outcomes that carry a risk of failure. Our studies demonstrate how the implementation of an intervention involving ambivalence towards self-threatening outcomes leads people to take action in both professional and personal contexts. Specifically, bringing to mind the negatives of an outcome mitigates the threat of failure by reducing the outcome’s desirability, while keeping in mind the positives of the outcome encourages people to pursue it.
In Goal Pursuit, Flexibility is the Best Choice for Me, but Not for You
Authors: Sydney Scott (Washington University in St. Louis), Elanor Williams (Washington University in St. Louis)
Presenting Author: Sydney Scott (Washington University in St. Louis)
When consumers pursue goals, they can decide their approach as they go (that is, make flexible plans) or set concrete details for goal pursuit before they start (that is, make rigid plans). We find that consumers chose flexible plans more for themselves than for others. People “follow their hearts” (i.e., rely on their feelings) when making their own plans, and therefore are more influenced by the intuitive appeal of flexibility for their own plans. Consistent with this idea, asking consumers to “follow their heads” leads them to choose similarly rigid (and thus effective) plans for themselves and others.

Flash Talks

Acting vs. Refraining: Differences in Evaluations of Self-control in Others
Authors: Samina Lutfeali (Stanford University), Christian Wheeler (Stanford University)
Presenting Author: Samina Lutfeali (Stanford University)
People like and trust others who have self-control. But people can demonstrate self-control in multiple ways. For example, someone can refrain from something she likes (e.g., not eat cake), or act and do something she dislikes (e.g., go running). Prior research shows that individuals who refrain from something they enjoy are evaluated more positively than those who make the same decision without exerting self-control. However, these self-control situations confound the exertion of self-control with underlying attitudes because people prefer those with positive attitudes to those with negative attitudes. Across three studies (N=1104), we unconfound them by examining both acting and refraining. We demonstrate that self-control is not always viewed positively. Consistent with past research, when someone refrains from something she likes, she is evaluated more positively than someone who does not exert self-control. But people who act and override negative attitudes toward virtues to behave virtuously are not evaluated favorably.
I’m Happy to See Your Benefit Go: The Impact of Reductions in Other Consumers’ Loyalty Program Benefits on Consumers’ Loyalty Program Satisfaction
Authors: Yumei Mu (West Virginia University), Julian Givi (West Virginia University), Stephen He (West Virginia University)
Presenting Author: Yumei Mu (West Virginia University)
In the present work, we explore how consumers’ loyalty program satisfaction changes when the benefits afforded to their tier in a loyalty program remain constant, but the benefits offered to another tier worsen (vs. stay the same). Across multiple studies, we find that loyalty program participants become more satisfied when participants in another tier lose (vs. do not lose) benefits. This appears to be jointly driven by relative value considerations (i.e., contemplations of how one’s benefits compare to other consumers’ benefits) and counterfactual thinking (i.e., thinking about the possibility that one’s own benefits could have worsened).


The Overestimation of Physical Beauty in Social Relationships
Authors: Yunhui Huang (Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University), Ke Zhang (Shanghai University)
Presenting Author: Yunhui Huang (Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University)
Both ample empirical literature on beauty-related stereotypes and our lay belief suggest that gorgeous people obtain preferential treatment. However, our findings suggest that physical beauty might not be as important as people believe it to be for their own social success. Whereas most people predict themselves to be more attractive as a friend when they are good-looking (vs. average- or below-average-looking), at least 40%, and in many cases more than half of the participants in our studies did not choose the more physically attractive individual as a potential friend/coworker.
It's Not You, It's Us: How Close Others Affect One's Own Performance
Authors: Sarah Francisco (University of Iowa), Chelsea Galoni (University of Iowa), Catherine Cole (Univeristy of Iowa)
Presenting Author: Sarah Francisco (University of Iowa)
Social comparison theory states that the performance of others can help us evaluate our own abilities. Close relationship theory suggests that relationship closeness affects this social comparison process. This work contributes to consumer psychology by analyzing how relationship closeness affects consumers’ interpretation of social comparison information. In this experiment, we find that the close other’s failure does not affect the self’s motivation when the close other is expected to have higher ability in the performance domain. However, when the close other is expected to have lower ability, their failure decreases the self’s motivation. We conclude with implications for marketing communications.
Self-Other Difference in Distance Perception
Authors: Wonsuk Jung (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Joann Peck (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Presenting Author: Wonsuk Jung (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
In this research, we address an overlooked factor that can influence our judgments about distance. Specifically, we argue that how we perceive distance can be influenced by whether the distance in question is created by the self or the other. We propose that when the positive distance (i.e., increase in distance) is produced by the other, the distance may be perceived as greater compared to when the distance is created by the self. On the other hand, when the negative distance (i.e., reduction in the distance) is produced by the other, the distance may be perceived as smaller compared to when the distance is created by the self. In other words, while the change in the objective distance remains the same in each case, the perceived change in the distance may differ depending on who created the distance (i.e., self vs. other) and on its direction (i.e., towards vs. away).
Rewarding Yourself or Helping Others? Effectiveness of Justification Strategies on Hedonic Consumption
Authors: Ke Lai (Vanderbilt University), Travis Tae Oh (Yeshiva University)
Presenting Author: Ke Lai (Vanderbilt University)
Rewarding oneself or helping others are two justification motives that consumers and marketers readily utilize to justify purchases of hedonic products. Yet, very little has been studied to compare and examine the effects of these two justification strategies on consumers’ purchase decisions. Through three studies, we show that the donation strategy is more effective than a self-rewarding strategy in hedonic purchase decisions, while these strategies are equally effective in utilitarian purchase decisions. These results support our hypothesis that the justification strategy to move the focus to helping others may be more effective than one that focuses on the self.
Consumers Are More Trusting of Influencers When They Know They’re Human: The Effects of CGI Influencers on Consumer Trust and the Moderating Role of Consumer Gender
Authors: Michelle Van Solt (Valparaiso University), Tessa Garcia-Collart (University of Missouri-St Louis)
Presenting Author: Michelle Van Solt (Valparaiso University)
Despite the growing presence of computer-generated imagery influencers (CGIIs) on social media, there is limited knowledge of their influence on consumption. This research compares CGI and human influencers to evaluate their effects on downstream consumption consequences. Across two studies we demonstrate the predicted model of the influence of CGIIs on purchase intentions. We highlight anthropomorphism and consumer trust as serial mediators accounting for the underlying mechanism of these effects. Further, we present the moderating role of gender such that men have more trust for female CGIIs than women. For male CGIIs, however, we observed no differences in trust between genders.
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