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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>