Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The blushing shopper: Does it matter what else you put in the basket with the anti-gas medication?

Date:
August 20, 2013
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
Buying certain products can be embarrassing. But a new study says shoppers should make more conscious choices about what to add to their shopping carts to alleviate the embarrassment.

Buying certain products can be embarrassing. But a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research says shoppers should make more conscious choices about what to add to their shopping carts to alleviate the embarrassment.

“Shopping basket composition can determine how consumers feel when purchasing embarrassing products. Contrary to conventional wisdom, additional purchases don’t always reduce embarrassment but may worsen it instead,” write authors Sean Blair and Neal J. Roese (both Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University). “And when additional products do reduce embarrassment, it’s not just because they hide the embarrassing product.”

Suppose a consumer needs to buy something embarrassing like a package of anti-gas medication or foot deodorant. He might start thinking about how other shoppers will react to the purchase and try to deflect attention from the product by buying something else. However, this strategy could backfire—or even make him feel more embarrassed if he chooses something that inadvertently reinforces the impression he wants to avoid.

In one study, the authors asked people how embarrassed they would feel if they were purchasing The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Improving Your IQ. Half of the participants were purchasing only the book, but the remaining half were told they were also purchasing an issue of Scientific American and a Rubik’s cube. The results showed that the additional products made participants feel less embarrassed, but not because they hid the embarrassing book. “People felt less embarrassed because they thought the intelligent products would compensate for the book, essentially ‘canceling out’ the unintelligent impression,” the authors write. A follow-up study showed that the more people believed the additional products would balance against the embarrassing book, the more effective the products were at reducing embarrassment.

“Consumers tend to think about the products they buy holistically rather than individually, and a product’s meaning can change depending on what else is being purchased at the same time. An additional purchase can either attenuate or exacerbate embarrassment depending on whether it counterbalances or complements the embarrassing product,” the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sean Blair, Neal J. Roese. Balancing the Basket: The Role of Shopping Basket Composition in Embarrassment. Journal of Consumer Research, 2013; 000 DOI: 10.1086/671761

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "The blushing shopper: Does it matter what else you put in the basket with the anti-gas medication?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130820113922.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2013, August 20). The blushing shopper: Does it matter what else you put in the basket with the anti-gas medication?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130820113922.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "The blushing shopper: Does it matter what else you put in the basket with the anti-gas medication?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130820113922.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

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Urgent-care clinics popping up across the US are not equipped to treat a serious illness like Ebola and have been told to immediately call a hospital and public health officials if they suspect a patient may be infected. (Oct. 21) 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