Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Business Administration -- Marketing
Consumer envy, which is a two-faceted emotion (benign versus malicious), could change consumer behavior in different ways. Although research on envy is abundant in the psychology field, little attention has been paid to envy in marketing research. This dissertation composes of two essays. Based on Social Comparison Theory (SCT), these two essays examine the envy mechanism in driving consumer behavior using different contexts (social media behavior and counterfeit luxury consumption).
Essay one examines the relationship between envy and consumer’s intention to conduct different social networking sites (SNSs) activities. To test the hypothesized relationships, four experiments were conducted. Experiments 1, 2, and 3 together find that while benign envious consumers are more likely to conduct positive interactive SNSs activities, malicious envious consumers are more likely to conduct negative interactive SNSs activities. Also, benign envious consumers are more likely to conduct self-improvement SNSs activities (competition and evaluation) than malicious envious consumers. Moreover, Experiment 2 finds that the selfefficacy motive fully mediates the relationship between benign envy and consumers’ intentions to conduct competitive SNSs activities. Experiment 4 explores the relationship between the envier’s status and different types of envy and the moderating effect of envied person’s status. It finds that high-power member is more likely to generate envy and the relationships are weakened when the envied person is a high-power member.
Essay two explores why consumers turn to purchase counterfeits instead of authentic luxury products. Using three different types of luxury products and different samples in three experiments, a series of eight hypotheses are tested. Using limited-edition Nike shoes as the research context, Experiment 1 shows that malicious envious people have a higher intention to buy authentic luxury products than benign enviers. Using Louis Vuitton bag as the research context, Experiment 2 demonstrates that malicious enviers have a higher intention to buy counterfeits than benign enviers. Also, when counterfeit is popular in real life, malicious enviers have a higher intention to buy counterfeits than benign enviers. Last, Experiment 3 uses “ROLEX watch” as the research context and demonstrates that benign enviers have a higher intention to buy counterfeits than malicious enviers.
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"Two Essays on Consumer Envy"
(2020). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Dissertation, Marketing, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/vtqf-4c27