I Paid More Than You (Before)?! The Effect of Self-Construal and Comparison Target on Unfairness Perceptions and Willingness to Pay

34 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016

See all articles by Wenjing Dou

Wenjing Dou

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management

Wei Lu

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management

Dian Wang

Texas A&M University - Department of Marketing

Haipeng (Allan) Chen

University of Kentucky - Gatton College of Business and Economics

Date Written: October 11, 2016

Abstract

The present research explores how self-construal interacts with social versus temporal comparison target in shaping consumer perceptions of price unfairness and willingness to pay. Three experiments find that independent consumers perceive stronger price unfairness when paying more than other consumers do, whereas interdependent consumers perceive stronger unfairness when paying more than they themselves paid in previous transactions. These effects occur because consumers are differentially sensitive to social versus temporal comparisons in their self-appraisal as a function of their self-construal. The sensitivity to social (temporal) comparison among independent (interdependent) consumers also affects their willingness to pay. These results show that self-construal affects consumers’ respective means for maintaining their self-appraisal and alters the relevance of different comparison targets.

Keywords: Price Unfairness, Self-Construal, Social Comparison, Temporal Comparison, Self-Appraisal

Suggested Citation

Dou, Wenjing and Lu, Wei and Wang, Dian and Chen, Haipeng (Allan), I Paid More Than You (Before)?! The Effect of Self-Construal and Comparison Target on Unfairness Perceptions and Willingness to Pay (October 11, 2016). Mays Business School Research Paper No. 2851063, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2851063 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2851063

Wenjing Dou

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management ( email )

No.535 Fahuazhen Road
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Shanghai, Shanghai 200052
China

Wei Lu

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management ( email )

No.535 Fahuazhen Road
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Shanghai, Shanghai 200052
China

Dian Wang (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Marketing ( email )

College Station, TX
United States

Haipeng (Allan) Chen

University of Kentucky - Gatton College of Business and Economics ( email )

550 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506
United States

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