Consumer Reactions to Attractive Service Providers: Approach or Avoid?
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AbstractAttractive service providers are often assumed to elicit favorable consumer reactions and to increase purchase intentions. However, this may not always be true. A pilot study and five field and laboratory experiments show that when a self-presentation concern is made salient, consumers react less positively to highly attractive providers than to less attractive ones. This concern can be influenced by chronic social anxiety or can be aroused by unrelated experiences that consumers have before being exposed to the service interactions. In addition, it can be activated by the type of product being sold, that is, a product that is likely to cause embarrassment. Thus the attractiveness of a service provider can have either positive or negative effects on consumers' reactions to a consumption experience and their consequent purchase intentions, depending on the type of product under consideration. These effects occur when the service provider is both of the opposite sex and the same sex. However, self-presentation concerns when an opposite-sex provider is attractive are driven by sexual motives, whereas these self-presentation concerns when a same-sex target is attractive are stimulated by social comparison processes.
All Author(s) ListWan LC, Wyer RS
Journal nameJournal of Consumer Research
Volume Number42
Issue Number4
Pages578 - 595
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsattractive service providers; embarrassing consumption; self-presentation concern; social anxiety; social comparison processes
Web of Science Subject CategoriesBusiness; Business & Economics

Last updated on 2021-13-09 at 00:46