Individual choice decisions for joint consumption in close relationships: the roles of attachment security and relationship power
MetadataShow full item record
Consumers are part of multiple relationships which directly or indirectly influence their consumption decisions. We examine a set of consumer decisions in close relationships where they face the conflict of choosing between self-preferred and partner-preferred options while making individual choice decisions for joint consumption. In essay 1, using attachment theory, we examine the role of attachment security (vs. insecurity). We show that people with attachment security (vs. insecurity) in close relationships are more likely to choose their partner-preferred options over self-preferred options and have a higher willingness to pay. We show a serial mediation by empathy and the willingness to sacrifice to explain the effects of attachment security (vs. insecurity) on consumer choice of partner-preferred options. We show that different types of insecurities have different effects. We also show the moderating effects of the perceived cost of sacrifice, situational relationship norms, and mortality salience to show the limits of the effects of attachment security (vs. insecurity) on consumer choice of partner-preferred options. We tested our hypotheses in 9 experimental studies for 2 types of relationships and 4 different choice contexts. In essay 2, we examine the role of the relative relationship power (high vs. low). We show that people with low (vs. high) relative relationship power are more likely to choose partner-preferred options. We present a communal model of power in close relationships where communal motivation and willingness to sacrifice serially mediate the effect of relative relationship power on consumer choice. We also show the moderating effects of attachment security, the perceived cost of sacrifice, and the individual differences in communal goals, and the generalized sense of power in relationships. We tested our hypotheses in 6 experimental studies for 2 types of relationships and 3 different choice contexts. This dissertation has important implications for research on consumer choice in relationships, use of relational constructs in examining consumer behaviors, use of attachment theory in research on consumer behavior, and the approach-inhibition theory of power. This dissertation also has implications for consumers and managers.
- Thesis and Dissertations