Exploring avoidance and rejection by male consumers: a social identity perspective

Cameron, Ross M. (2021) Exploring avoidance and rejection by male consumers: a social identity perspective. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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There is growing interest in consumer psychology to understand what motivates avoidance and rejection by consumers. This thesis explores the influence of male social identity on avoidance and rejection, using two distinct consumer contexts. The first context relates to preferences for an outgroup-associated product. Research has revealed that men avoid and negatively evaluate a steak option when labelled the 10oz Ladies Cut (vs. 10oz Chef’s Cut). This effect is referred to as the dissociation effect within the reference group literature. Utilising a Menu Selection Task, the thesis set out to determine whether male gender-derived social identity is at play when dissociating from the Ladies’ Cut Steak. This perspective was explored across four experiments that primed, affirmed, and threatened male-specific social identity. The findings indicate that social identity does not influence the MST-specific dissociation effect.

The second context views science itself as a consumable and thus explores the rejection of scientific publications by male consumers of science. The discrediting of identity-threatening science has historically been investigated using minimal group studies or niche ingroups (e.g. “video gamers”). This thesis investigates the discrediting of scientific publications perceived to be “threatening” to male social identity. Explored across four experiments, the findings reveal that male-specific science discrediting is moderated by Strength of Ingroup Identification, Ambivalent Sexism, Social Dominance Orientation, Precarious Manhood, and Collective Narcissism; as each moderator increases, so too does the individual’s tendency to discredit the identity-threatening science.

Keywords: Ambivalent Sexism, Collective Narcissism, Collective Self-Esteem, Consumer Behaviour, Dissociation Effect, Ingroup Identification, Intergroup Bias, Motivated Rejection of Science, Precarious Manhood, Reference Groups, Science Discrediting, Self-Affirmation Theory, Self-Categorisation Theory, Social Dominance Orientation, Social Identity Theory, Social Identity Threat.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 09:20
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 09:20
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/83051

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