Express your social self: Cultural differences in choice of brand-name versus generic products

Heejung S. Kim, Aimee Drolet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research examined cultural differences in the patterns of choices that reflect more social characteristics of a chooser (e.g., social status). Four studies examined the cultural difference in individuals' tendency to choose brand-name products (i.e., high-status options) over generic products (i.e., low-status options) and the underlying reasons for these differences. Compared to European Americans, Asian Americans consistently chose brand-name products. This difference was driven by Asian Americans' greater social status concerns. Self-consciousness was more strongly associated with the brand-name choices of Asian Americans (vs. European Americans), and experimentally induced social status led Asian Americans (vs. European Americans) to make more choices concordant with self-perception. These findings highlight the importance of considering external and social motivations underlying the choice-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1566
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume35
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Brand
  • Choice
  • Culture
  • Self

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