Say No More! The Liability of Strong Ties on Desire for Special Experiences
Journal of Consumer Psychology 26, 1 (2016) 91 – 97
Posted: 29 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 1, 2015
Interpersonal connections are often involved in the planning, consuming, and reminiscing of special consumption experiences. Yet we have limited understanding of how consumers in different stages (planning versus reminiscing) influence one another and how this might vary as a function of relationship strength. From two experiments, our findings suggest that when planning a novel special experience, consumers should be cautious of others' reminiscences and, specifically, of memories shared by strong ties. In study 1, we found that a memory shared by a strong tie increases a consumer's desire to switch a novel experience. In study 2, we unpacked this effect by examining the role of savoring and internalization of memory details. When a memory was shared by a stronger (versus weaker) tie, the expected utility of savoring was reduced, and the desire to switch to a new experience increased. Post analyses suggest that this may be due to differences in the extent to which the memory is assimilated as one's own experience.
Keywords: experiential consumption, special experiences, savoring, word-of-mouth, social influence, memorability
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