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Self-threat and Compensatory Consumption: The Role of Consumers’ Implicit Theory

XU, YUANYI (2024) Self-threat and Compensatory Consumption: The Role of Consumers’ Implicit Theory. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 05 February 2027.


Research shows that consumers often engage in compensatory consumption to cope with self-threats. This thesis aims to explore the role of consumers’ implicit theory in compensatory consumption. The research objectives are threefold: (1) to identify the impact of consumers’ implicit theory on their tendency to engage in compensatory consumption and its underlying mechanism; (2) to investigate how consumers’ product preferences in compensatory consumption are influenced by the implicit theory they hold; and (3) to examine the consumers’ self-repair resulting from their compensatory consumption as an individual difference influenced by their implicit theory. A product pre-test (n = 90) was conducted on MTurk, and seven main studies (n = 2,173), including two surveys and five experiments, were conducted on Prolific to examine the relationship between implicit theory and compensatory consumption. The findings of this thesis contribute to two literature streams — the compensatory consumption literature and implicit theory literature — by elucidating how self-threats interact with consumers’ implicit theory to affect compensatory consumption. This includes exploring the underlying mechanism, boundary conditions, and downstream consequence of this interaction. The results not only offer theoretical insights, but also have practical implications for marketers and policymakers concerned about consumer well-being. While considering the research limitations, the thesis also discusses potential avenues for future research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Management and Marketing, Department of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Feb 2024 15:11

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