ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (8): 979-995.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00979

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


冉雅璇1, 张谱月1(), 陈斯允2, 项典典1   

  1. 1中南财经政法大学工商管理学院, 武汉 430073
    2暨南大学管理学院, 广州 510632
  • 收稿日期:2021-09-08 发布日期:2022-06-23 出版日期:2022-08-25
  • 通讯作者: 张谱月
  • 基金资助:

Try something new together: Joint consumption fosters choice of unfamiliar products

RAN Yaxuan1, ZHANG Puyue1(), CHEN Siyun2, XIANG Diandian1   

  1. 1School of Business Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China
    2School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
  • Received:2021-09-08 Online:2022-06-23 Published:2022-08-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Puyue


共有消费是多位消费者共同参与并承担开销的一种常见的消费活动。本研究基于风险转移理论, 探究了消费情境(单独消费vs.共有消费)对不熟悉产品偏好的作用机理及边界条件。通过5个实验, 结果发现:相比于单独消费情境下的消费者, 在共有消费情境下的消费者更愿意尝试不熟悉的产品。原因在于共有消费情境会转移消费风险, 使得消费者对不熟悉产品的感知风险降低。但是该效应仅发生于产品风险较低的产品。同时, 当共有消费群体的关系较为疏远时, 该效应会消失甚至逆转。

关键词: 共有消费, 不熟悉产品, 感知风险, 集体决策, 风险转移理论


Joint consumption is pervasive in daily life, such as watching movies with friends, eating out with family and shopping for communal kitchens with roommates. Comparing with individual consumption, decisions in joint consumption are distinct in a variety of aspects. The number of existing literatures on joint consumption is increasing year by year, but the research topics are too scattered to form a system. Previous researches can be divided into three categories: driving factors, decision results and their influencing factors and subsequent consequences. However, very few studies have examined whether consumers would behave differently in the context of individual and joint consumption. In the current research, we extend the extent literature by examining how consumer respond to exploration behavior when shopping either individually or with others.
Choosing between familiar and unfamiliar products is one of the most common forms of exploratory behavior. Perceived risk is an important factor affecting this choice. According to risky-shift theory, an individual in a group has greater risk-taking tendencies than when alone because sharing the decision result could weaken the perceived risk of each group member. In addition, there are researches showing mere being accompanied by others also decreases risk perception. Therefore, we inference that comparing with individual consumption, consumers in joint consumption would perceive less risk so that they prefer unfamiliar options. Nonetheless, the main hypothesis is limited. In the light of product category risk and impression management, this effect appears only when individuals are with close companions and face with low-risk products.
Five studies were conducted to examine our hypotheses. As a lab experiment, study 1a (N = 138) was a 2 (consumption situation: individual vs. joint) between-subjects design, which proved that participants in the joint condition were more likely to choose the unfamiliar product than those in the individual condition. Study 1b (N = 263) repeats the main effect with a 3 (consumption situation: individual vs. joint with friends vs. joint with families) between-subjects design and also excluded the potential influence of relationship type on this effect. And by changing the manipulation and measurement method, study 2 (N = 150) verified the mediating effect of perceived risk with a 2 (consumption situation: individual vs. joint) between-subjects design. And it also ruled out the alternative explanation of emotional arousal. Study 3 (N = 213) was 3 (consumption context: individual vs. joint with a close friend vs. joint with a distant friend) between-subjects design. It identified two important moderating variables. On the one hand, we can only investigate the effect of joint consumption among low-risk products. On the other hand, participants were more interested in unfamiliar products only when they were with close friends. Additionally, it examined the mediating role of perceived risk and excluded the alternative explanation of diffusion of responsibility. Study 4 (N = 148) extended the scope of application of this main effect with a 2 (consumption situation: individual vs. joint) between-subjects design. The results show that even when faced with daily choices in non-consumption situations, participants under joint consumption showed exploratory behavior.
Our investigation suggests that joint consumption (vs. individual consumption) encourages consumers to try new and unfamiliar products/services through a decreased perception of consumption risk. This effect would be attenuated when consumers are shopping with distant companions or when consumers face the choice of high-risk products/services. Our findings supplement the literature on joint consumption, exploration behavior and risk-shift theory, while practically suggesting that managers can integrate the joint consumption context into the new product promotion process by defining product positioning.

Key words: joint consumption, unfamiliar product, perceived risk, collective decision-making, risk-shift theory