Man Versus Machine: Resisting Automation in Identity-Based Consumer Behavior

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Automation is transforming many consumption domains, including everyday activities like cooking or driving, and recreational activities like fishing or cycling. Yet, little research in marketing has examined consumer preferences for automated products. Automation often provides obvious consumption benefits, but six studies spanning a variety of product categories show that automation may not be desirable when identity motives are important drivers of consumption. Using both correlational and experimental designs, the findings demonstrate that individuals who strongly identify with a particular social category resist automated features when these features hinder the attribution of identity-relevant consumption outcomes to oneself. These findings have substantial theoretical implications for research on identity and on technology, as well as managerial implications for targeting, product innovation, and communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-831
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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