Romantic Attachment and Consumer Behavior: You Never Really Shop Alone
Yu, Wing-Lam Fiona
Associations between romantic attachment and consumer behavior were tested in a study of undergraduate students using an online survey and laboratory virtual shopping experiment. The present study (N = 78) investigated whether activating the mental representation of a romantic attachment partner (compared to activating the representation of an acquaintance) influences consumer behavior. Romantic attachment strength, romantic relationship satisfaction and romantic relationship length were all strong predictors of shopping behavior but only in the acquaintance condition. Participants whose partner representations were activated, relationship length was associated with increased impulsive and decreased exploratory shopping behavior. In contrast, for participants who were asked to think about an acquaintance, romantic relationship length predicted more exploratory and less impulsive shopping behavior. Overall, the simple effects analyses suggest that conjuring up a mental representation of the romantic partner qualitatively altered the experiment. Limitations and future directions for this line of research are discussed.
romantic attachment; consumer behavior; love; attachment styles
dissertation or thesis