When the reaper becomes a salesman: The influence of terror management on product preferences

Tom van Bommel, Cormac O'Dwyer, Tim W.M. Zuidgeest, Fenna H. Poletiek

Abstract


The present research investigates how consumer choice is affected by Terror Management Theory’s proposition of Mortality Salience increasing one’s cultural worldview defense and self-esteem striving. The study builds empirically upon prior theorizing by Arndt, Solomon, Kasser and Sheldon (2004). During an experiment, we manipulated Mortality Salience and measured product preferences for conspicuousness and familiarity. Participants primed with death were more likely to choose conspicuous products, corroborating previous research of mortality salience raising materialistic tendencies. In addition, participants showed a tendency to prefer familiar brands. These results are in line with the Terror Management Theory framework.


Keywords


Brand Preferences; Mortality Salience

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/jefs.v3i05.121

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Copyright (c) 2015 Tom van Bommel, Cormac O'Dwyer, Tim W.M. Zuidgeest, Fenna H. Poletiek

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