Food, sex and the hunger for distinction

Food, sex and the hunger for distinction

By
Jonah Berger, Baba Shiv
Journal of Consumer Psychology. October
2011, Vol. 21, Issue 4, Pages 464–472

Consumer preferences are often influenced by the distinctiveness of the options involved, but do needs for distinctiveness display motivational reward properties? Four studies suggest that they do. Activating needs for distinctiveness impacts the desirability of other, seemingly unrelated rewards, and reciprocally, preferences for distinctiveness are impacted by the presence of seemingly unrelated reward stimuli. Further, these cross-domain spillover effects were moderated by sensitivity to the general reward system and satiated by even seemingly unrelated intervening rewards. These findings shed light on the nature of distinctiveness and its implications for consumer behavior.