Enjoy! Assertive Language and Consumer Compliance in (Non)Hedonic Contexts

24 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2009

See all articles by Ann Kronrod

Ann Kronrod

Tel Aviv University

Amir Grinstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - School of Management

Luc Wathieu

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the tension between consumer persuasion and freedom of choice. We study how assertive language (as in the slogan Just do it!) affects consumer compliance in hedonic vs. utilitarian contexts. Previous literature consistently claimed that forceful language would cause reactance and decreased compliance. However, we find in four studies that assertive persuasion is effective in contexts involving hedonic goods and hedonically framed utilitarian goods. Our hypotheses emerge from sociolinguistic research and confirm the relevance of linguistic research in consumer behavior.

Keywords: assertive message, consumer compliance, hedonic consumption, utilitarian consumption, forceful language, persuasion, freedom of choice, reactance

JEL Classification: D18, M37

Suggested Citation

Kronrod, Ann and Grinstein, Amir and Wathieu, Luc, Enjoy! Assertive Language and Consumer Compliance in (Non)Hedonic Contexts (December 1, 2009). ESMT Working Paper No. 09-007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1523259 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1523259

Ann Kronrod

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

Amir Grinstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - School of Management ( email )

P.O. Box 653
Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel

Luc Wathieu (Contact Author)

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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