Increasing research attention has been paid to the influence of loneliness on consumer judgment and decision making, especially lonely people’s attitude to anthropomorphic product. However, past studies are exclusively focused on only one aspect of lonely people’s psychological demands, which cannot fully explain the complexity of the psychological processes underlying theirattitudes to anthropomorphic product. Built on previous research in loneliness,this research explores how lonely people form attitude toward anthropomorphic product by taking an integrative perspective, which analyzes the influence of product display on lonely people’s attitude based on self-regulation system theory. This research proposes that when anthropomorphic product and normal product are presented apart, this display format activates lonely consumer’s heighten system and increases their preferences for anthropomorphic product, whereas when these products are presented together, this display formattriggers lonely consumer’s balance system and promotes their preferencesfor normal product. Last but not least, this research identifiesa boundary condition of the main effect by examining the moderating role of information type.
Based on three studies, the authors investigated the influence of product display on lonely individual’s attitude to anthropomorphic product. In Study 1, the researchers testified the influence of product display on lonely people’s attitude to anthropomorphic product which constructed an integrative model and verified the main effect. 65 lonely individuals participated in Study 2 whichused the relationship between products (substitutive or complementary) to substitute product presentation. The purpose was to further testify the theoretical process underlying the main effect. Study 3 examined the moderating role of information type in the relationship between product display and product attitude.
The results of the present researchare three-fold: to start with, product display influences lonely people’s attitude to anthropomorphic product. When products are displayed apart, lonely individuals prefer anthropomorphic product. However, the opposite is true when products are displayed together. Secondly, the relationship between products (substitutive, complementary) can substitute product display (apart, together). This research also examines the moderating effect of information type on the main effect. The results proclaim that when products are displayed apart, ‘to do’ information can promote lonely people’s attitude and purchase intention to anthropomorphic product as compared to ‘to go’ information; and when products are displayed together, this effect will reverse.
These findings enrich the theoretical value of loneliness in three ways: firstly, it focuses on lonely individual’s attitude to anthropomorphic product in an integrative perspective, which reconciles conflicting research findingsin this field. In doing so, this research not only identifies the boundary conditions of lonely people’s increased preference for anthropomorphic product, but also investigated how to make this effect stronger by manipulating information type. In conclusion, this research investigates the influence of product display on lonely people’s attitude to anthropomorphic product and provides feasible guideline for companies to employ anthropomorphic strategy appropriately.
冯文婷;汪涛;魏华;周南. 孤独让我爱上你：产品陈列对孤独个体产品偏好的影响[J]. 心理学报, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.00398.
WANG Tao; FENG Wenting; WEI Hua; ZHOU Nan. Loneliness makes me fall in love with you: The influence of product display on lonely individual’s product preference. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(4): 398-409.