ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 921-935.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00921

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How do individuals cope self-threats with consuming behaviors? Analysis based on the orientation-path integration model

SUN Hongjie1, LIU Feifei1, FENG Wenting1, CUI Bingqun2   

  1. 1Management School, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China;
    2College of Economics and Management, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian 271018, China
  • Received:2020-05-14 Online:2021-05-15 Published:2021-03-30

Abstract: Consumption is an important avenue for consumers to cope with self-threats, which are ubiquitous in daily life. Providing that consumers’ self-concept is multi-dimensional and the process of coping with self-threats involves cognitive, affective, and emotional factors, current research sometimes confounds the sources of self-threats and coping behaviors, resulting in dispersed, incoherent, and even conflicting conclusions. Hence, in this study, an integrated orientation-path model is proposed based on the review on the existing consumer studies related to self-threats. In the model, we summarized various types of consumers’ coping strategies to self-threats, analyzed how different strategies compensate one another on multiple levels, and revealed the multiple associations between self-threats and consumption behaviors. The model can be applied to understand how individuals construct coping strategies based on the comprehensive value system of products and their perception system. This study contributes to current consumer research by providing extensive understandings on coping strategies to self-threats and the underlying mechanism, and at the same time, offering insights on how individuals react to threats (e.g., Coronavirus) they encountered in everyday life.

Key words: self-threat, social self, inner self, compensatory consumption, flaunting consumption, conspicuous consumption

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