Get some respect – buy organic foods! When everyday consumer choices serve as prosocial status signaling

Harri Luomala, Petteri Puska, Merja Lähdesmäki, Marjo Siltaoja, Sami Kurki

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

Kuvaus

Status considerations have recently been linked to prosocial behaviors. This research shows that even everyday consumer behaviors such as favoring organic foods serve as prosocial status signaling. Key ideas from the continuum model of consumer impression formation and the theories of costly signaling and symbolic consumption are synthetized to make sense of this phenomenon. Two web-surveys (Ns = 187, 259) and a field study (N = 336) following experimental designs are conducted. This approach allows the analysis of both the more and less conscious reactions of consumers. Study 1 shows that the image of consumers favoring organic product versions is marked by characteristics consistent with prosocial status signaling. Study 2 replicates these findings with another sample and a wider range of products and demonstrate that observers’ conservative values influence the image formed of organic food users. Study 3 establishes that similar image effects also emerge through a less conscious formation process and that they extend to how organic food users are socially treated. This research advances the current understanding concerning the interlinkages between organic food usage, prosocial status signaling, consumer impressions and reputation management. Substantively, the studies provide novel compelling empirical evidence for the ability of non-luxurious everyday consumer behaviors to qualify as prosocial status signaling. Conceptually, the integration of evolutionary and sociocultural perspectives represents a major contribution. More specifically, this research yields new understanding as regards the role of individual variation in sensing and interpreting status symbols.
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
Artikkeli104492
LehtiAppetite
Vuosikerta145
Sivumäärä15
ISSN0195-6663
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - helmikuuta 2020
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu

Tieteenalat

  • 416 Elintarviketieteet
  • 5141 Sosiologia
  • 511 Kansantaloustiede

Lainaa tätä

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title = "Get some respect – buy organic foods! When everyday consumer choices serve as prosocial status signaling",
abstract = "Status considerations have recently been linked to prosocial behaviors. This research shows that even everyday consumer behaviors such as favoring organic foods serve as prosocial status signaling. Key ideas from the continuum model of consumer impression formation and the theories of costly signaling and symbolic consumption are synthetized to make sense of this phenomenon. Two web-surveys (Ns = 187, 259) and a field study (N = 336) following experimental designs are conducted. This approach allows the analysis of both the more and less conscious reactions of consumers. Study 1 shows that the image of consumers favoring organic product versions is marked by characteristics consistent with prosocial status signaling. Study 2 replicates these findings with another sample and a wider range of products and demonstrate that observers’ conservative values influence the image formed of organic food users. Study 3 establishes that similar image effects also emerge through a less conscious formation process and that they extend to how organic food users are socially treated. This research advances the current understanding concerning the interlinkages between organic food usage, prosocial status signaling, consumer impressions and reputation management. Substantively, the studies provide novel compelling empirical evidence for the ability of non-luxurious everyday consumer behaviors to qualify as prosocial status signaling. Conceptually, the integration of evolutionary and sociocultural perspectives represents a major contribution. More specifically, this research yields new understanding as regards the role of individual variation in sensing and interpreting status symbols.",
keywords = "Food, Consumer image, Costly signaling, Status, Organic, Prosociality, 416 Food Science, 5141 Sociology, 511 Economics",
author = "Harri Luomala and Petteri Puska and Merja L{\"a}hdesm{\"a}ki and Marjo Siltaoja and Sami Kurki",
year = "2020",
month = "2",
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language = "English",
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journal = "Appetite",
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}

Get some respect – buy organic foods! When everyday consumer choices serve as prosocial status signaling. / Luomala, Harri; Puska, Petteri; Lähdesmäki, Merja; Siltaoja, Marjo; Kurki, Sami.

julkaisussa: Appetite, Vuosikerta 145, 104492, 02.2020.

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

TY - JOUR

T1 - Get some respect – buy organic foods! When everyday consumer choices serve as prosocial status signaling

AU - Luomala, Harri

AU - Puska, Petteri

AU - Lähdesmäki, Merja

AU - Siltaoja, Marjo

AU - Kurki, Sami

PY - 2020/2

Y1 - 2020/2

N2 - Status considerations have recently been linked to prosocial behaviors. This research shows that even everyday consumer behaviors such as favoring organic foods serve as prosocial status signaling. Key ideas from the continuum model of consumer impression formation and the theories of costly signaling and symbolic consumption are synthetized to make sense of this phenomenon. Two web-surveys (Ns = 187, 259) and a field study (N = 336) following experimental designs are conducted. This approach allows the analysis of both the more and less conscious reactions of consumers. Study 1 shows that the image of consumers favoring organic product versions is marked by characteristics consistent with prosocial status signaling. Study 2 replicates these findings with another sample and a wider range of products and demonstrate that observers’ conservative values influence the image formed of organic food users. Study 3 establishes that similar image effects also emerge through a less conscious formation process and that they extend to how organic food users are socially treated. This research advances the current understanding concerning the interlinkages between organic food usage, prosocial status signaling, consumer impressions and reputation management. Substantively, the studies provide novel compelling empirical evidence for the ability of non-luxurious everyday consumer behaviors to qualify as prosocial status signaling. Conceptually, the integration of evolutionary and sociocultural perspectives represents a major contribution. More specifically, this research yields new understanding as regards the role of individual variation in sensing and interpreting status symbols.

AB - Status considerations have recently been linked to prosocial behaviors. This research shows that even everyday consumer behaviors such as favoring organic foods serve as prosocial status signaling. Key ideas from the continuum model of consumer impression formation and the theories of costly signaling and symbolic consumption are synthetized to make sense of this phenomenon. Two web-surveys (Ns = 187, 259) and a field study (N = 336) following experimental designs are conducted. This approach allows the analysis of both the more and less conscious reactions of consumers. Study 1 shows that the image of consumers favoring organic product versions is marked by characteristics consistent with prosocial status signaling. Study 2 replicates these findings with another sample and a wider range of products and demonstrate that observers’ conservative values influence the image formed of organic food users. Study 3 establishes that similar image effects also emerge through a less conscious formation process and that they extend to how organic food users are socially treated. This research advances the current understanding concerning the interlinkages between organic food usage, prosocial status signaling, consumer impressions and reputation management. Substantively, the studies provide novel compelling empirical evidence for the ability of non-luxurious everyday consumer behaviors to qualify as prosocial status signaling. Conceptually, the integration of evolutionary and sociocultural perspectives represents a major contribution. More specifically, this research yields new understanding as regards the role of individual variation in sensing and interpreting status symbols.

KW - Food

KW - Consumer image

KW - Costly signaling

KW - Status

KW - Organic

KW - Prosociality

KW - 416 Food Science

KW - 5141 Sociology

KW - 511 Economics

U2 - 10.1016/j.appet.2019.104492

DO - 10.1016/j.appet.2019.104492

M3 - Article

VL - 145

JO - Appetite

JF - Appetite

SN - 0195-6663

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ER -