ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (10): 2194-2205.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02194

• 研究构想 • 上一篇    下一篇


栾墨1(), 吴霜2   

  1. 1对外经济贸易大学国际商学院, 北京 100029
    2加州大学圣迭戈分校雷迪管理学院, 圣地亚哥 92093 美国
  • 收稿日期:2022-01-19 出版日期:2022-10-15 发布日期:2022-08-24
  • 通讯作者: 栾墨
  • 基金资助:

How does decision making process signal social status? A maximizing decision making perspective

LUAN Mo1(), WU Shuang2   

  1. 1International School of Business, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing 100029, China
    2Rady School of Management, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093, USA
  • Received:2022-01-19 Online:2022-10-15 Published:2022-08-24
  • Contact: LUAN Mo


彰显社会地位是消费者行为的一项基本动机。以往的消费心理学研究大量聚焦产品特征如何彰显社会地位(即令观察者产生高社会地位的推断), 却很少探讨消费决策过程这一购买决策中不可忽视的重要因素对社会地位推断有何影响。本研究试图构建一个基于最优化决策过程信息的社会地位推断模型, 系统探讨: (1)最优化决策过程能否及如何彰显消费者的社会地位; (2)彰显社会地位动机是否为消费者进行最优化决策的原因之一; (3)最优化决策过程如何通过社会地位推断影响观察者后续的消费行为。本研究将为社会地位推断研究提供新的视角, 扩展最优化决策研究的外延, 并从全新的角度揭示最优化决策的内涵。

关键词: 最优化决策, 社会地位推断, 消费决策过程, 感知自主性, 社会影响


Social status signaling is a fundamental motive that drives consumer behavior. Previous research on consumer psychology largely focuses on how social status can be signaled by the characteristics of products, but rarely explores how consumer decision process, another pivotal element of consumer decision-making, affects social status inference. Decision process is a vital part of consumer behavior. Similar to product characteristics, it is easy to observe and easy to control. The current research aims to build a social status inference model based on information about the maximizing decision process. We will systematically examine the following three questions. First, does maximizing, as a decision-making process, signal consumers’ social status? If so, how? We propose a moderated mediation model with perceived agency as the mediating mechanism and subjective decision experience and social mobility belief as boundary conditions. Building upon research on social status inference, our research will address the lack of focus on purchasing process in past research and broaden the scope of research on social status inference. Building upon research on maximizing, we will examine how maximizing influences social status inference by observers, which extends research on maximizing to an interpersonal level. Second, does the motivation to signal social status drive consumers to maximize? Individuals may adopt a maximizing decision strategy to signal social status. We will approach the question from a social status perspective and examine whether need for social status explains why consumers maximize during decision making. Third, how does consumers’ maximizing decision process influence their observers’ subsequent consumption behavior through social status inference? We will examine how perceived agency and social status inference serially mediate the effect of maximizing on consumers’ influence, reflected by observers’ advice seeking, reliance on consumers’ reviews, and purchase decisions. We will test the serial mediation model in two domains: reviews generated by consumers and advertisements generated by companies. The current research will study maximizing at an interpersonal level by examining how maximizing influences the attitude and behavior of observers. Furthermore, our research will help companies and marketers understand how decision process, described in user reviews, affect status inference and observers’ subsequent consumption. As a result, companies and marketers can nudge consumers to provide more descriptions about their decision process in the review, thereby helping with word-of-mouth marketing. Our research will also help companies and marketers understand how decision process related to product design and manufacturing, described in advertisements, affects status inference and consumers’ subsequent consumption. As a result, companies and marketers can design more effective advertisements by providing more information about the decision process. In conclusion, our research will provide a new perspective for research on social status inference, expand the scope of research on maximizing and shed new light on the underlying causes of maximizing.

Key words: maximizing decision making, social status inference, consumer decision process, perceived agency, social influence