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.

Related Articles


"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 March 4, 2015 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 March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) Britain&apos;s Prince William pledges to unite against illegal wildlife trade on the final day of his visit to China. Rough cut - no reporter narration Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Associated Press legal reporter Mark Sherman breaks down the details of the latest Affordable Care Act challenge to make it to the Supreme Court. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Activists Protest French Imports of Illegal Logs

Greenpeace Activists Protest French Imports of Illegal Logs

AFP (Mar. 4, 2015) Greenpeace activists deliver a four tonne log to the Ministry of Ecology to protest against imports of illegal wood. Duration: 00:59 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Washington Post (Mar. 4, 2015) The Affordable Care Act is facing another challenge at the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, which deals with subsidies for health insurance. The case could cut out a major provision of Obamacare, causing the law to unravel. Here’s what you need to know about the case. Video provided by Washington Post
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