The “Shaken Self”: Product Choices as a Means of Restoring Self-View Confidence

The “Shaken Self”: Product Choices as a Means of Restoring Self-View Confidence

Journal of Consumer Research. June
2009, Vol. 36, Issue 1, Pages 29-38

The present research shows that when a confidently held self‐view (e.g., “I am an exciting person”) is temporarily cast in doubt, individuals are motivated to choose products that bolster their original self‐view (e.g., choosing brands with exciting brand personalities). The findings across three studies suggest that subtle manipulations can temporarily “shake” one’s self‐view confidence, resulting in an increased propensity of choosing self‐view‐bolstering products in a subsequent choice task. The consequences of the “shaken self” for product choices are examined in different self‐domains. The findings also suggest that the effects of the shaken self are attenuated when individuals have the opportunity to restore their self‐view confidence prior to the final choice task.