To do or to have? Exploring the effects of social exclusion on experiential and material purchases

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© 2020 Asian Association of Social Psychology and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Social exclusion is widespread in our modern society. In the context of marketing, consumers who are excluded will choose specific products to mitigate the negative consequences of exclusion. This research examined the effect of social exclusion on consumer preferences. Three experimental studies were conducted to test whether consumers experiencing social exclusion would choose specific kinds of purchases. The results of the three studies provided convergent support for the notion that consumers who feel socially excluded exhibit a preference for experiential purchases over material purchases. It therefore appears that experiential purchases can more effectively compensate for the relational needs caused by social exclusion. The effect was stronger for socially excluded individuals exhibiting more interdependent self-construal than for those exhibiting a more independent self-construal. These results indicate that social impact is an antecedent of experiential purchases, and they shed light on an important mechanism to alleviate the negative effects of social exclusion.

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Asian Journal of Social Psychology

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