Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Benign envy sells iPhones, but malicious envy drives consumers to BlackBerries

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
People are willing to pay more for products that elicit their envy -- but that's only when they are motivated by a positive, benign form of envy, according to a new study.

People are willing to pay more for products that elicit their envy -- but that's only when they are motivated by a positive, benign form of envy, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Our studies showed that people who had been made envious of someone who owned an iPhone were willing to pay 80 Euros more on average," write authors Niels van de Ven, Marcel Zeelenberg, and Rik Pieters (Tilburg University).

The researchers made some important discoveries about the motivations that result from different kinds of envy. "Note that two types of envy exist: benign and malicious envy," the authors explain. "Benign envy exists if the advantage of the other person is deserved, and motivates people to attain a coveted good or position for themselves. This more motivating type of envy makes people pay an envy premium for the products that elicited their envy." On the other hand, malicious envy occurs if the other person is thought to be undeserving; it evokes a desire to "pull down" the other person.

In a series of experiments, the authors compared benign envy with its malicious cousin. They found that only benignly envious people were willing to pay more for products that they coveted. Maliciously envious people were more likely to pay more for related but different products. For example, people who felt maliciously envious of someone with an iPhone were more likely to pay more for a BlackBerry.

In the experiments (which involved potential internships as well as products like iPhones), the participants were asked to imagine feeling jealousy and admiration for the fellow student (Benign Envy condition), to imagine feeling jealous and begrudging (the Malicious Envy condition), or just to imagine that they really liked the product (Control condition).

However, companies should be cautious to not evoke the more negative form of envy that drives people away from products. "Advertisers should make sure that the celebrities they want to use in their ads actually deserve their status," the authors write. "If they do not, these celebrities might actually trigger malicious envy and the sales of products from a competitor could even go up."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Niels van de Ven, Marcel Zeelenberg, and Rik Pieters. The Envy Premium in Product Evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research, 2010

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Benign envy sells iPhones, but malicious envy drives consumers to BlackBerries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018174347.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, October 18). Benign envy sells iPhones, but malicious envy drives consumers to BlackBerries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018174347.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Benign envy sells iPhones, but malicious envy drives consumers to BlackBerries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018174347.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins