Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of M researcher discovers stereotypes can deter consumer purchases

24.02.2011
Study also finds scent of vanilla helps consumers feel calmer and more assured of their transaction

The perception of negative stereotyping, particularly in the areas of financial services and automobile sales and service, can cause consumers to fear being duped and forgo their purchases, according to new research by University of Minnesota associate professor Kathleen D. Vohs.

Vohs, the Land O’Lakes Professor for Excellence in Marketing at the university’s Carlson School of Management, and co-authors Hakkyun Kim (Concordia University, Canada) and Kyoungmi Lee (Yonsei University, Korea) found that a potential buyer, aware of negative associations held about a group to which he or she belongs, may experience apprehension when transacting with someone from outside this group. This nervousness detrimentally impacts purchasing decisions.

“People naturally withdraw from situations where they anticipate being stereotyped,” says Vohs. “They fear being duped or inadvertently reinforcing the negative association.”

To see a video of Vohs discussing her research, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoMbJWXrEYM.

In “Stereotype Threat in the Marketplace: Consumer Anxiety and Purchase Intentions,” which will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, the researchers conducted three experiments.

The first focused on women’s feelings when interacting with potential financial advisors. When predisposed to conditions meant to remind participants of the stereotype that women are less competent at math than men, women reported feeling more anxious about interacting with a male financial advisor and less inclined to procure financial services.

The second experiment tested these findings in an automobile repair context. When asked to report their gender before seeking a car repair, women were more likely to feel anxiety when contemplating a transaction with a male technician.

“Consumers don’t have to believe the stereotype; they just have to be aware that the stereotype exists to experience the threat” Vohs adds. “The actual behavior of the salesperson may have little effect.”

This research provides some of the first evidence that the presence of negative stereotypes plays an important role in consumer judgments. These findings have practical implications for marketers, who may take care to avoid using advertising content that might trigger thoughts or associations of a negative stereotype in potential costumers.

While marketers cannot completely control for which perceived stereotypes may cause anxiety in potential buyers in all cases at all times, Vohs and colleagues found they may be able to mitigate the stereotype threat by introducing a sense of calmness into the transaction environment.

In the study’s third experiment, the researchers found that introducing the scent of vanilla into the decision-making process helped participants feel calmer and more assured of their transaction.

“Vanilla scent has been used for centuries to calm and pacify people who have anxiety,” says Vohs. “While we used scent, any tactics firms can employ that would calm consumers could help the transaction take place as the marketer would intend.”

The paper and more information on Vohs can be found at: www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/marketinginstitute/kvohs.

Contacts:
Steve Rudolph, Carlson School of Management, skr@umn.edu, (612) 624-8770
Preston Smith, University News Service, smith@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552

Steve Rudolph | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks Industry & Economy
Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers reveal how microbes cope in phosphorus-deficient tropical soil

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Opening the cavity floodgates

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material

23.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>