Power is a fundamental concept in social science (Russell 1938), which has gained much academic attention in various disciplines. Two essays of this dissertation examine the theoretical and practical implications of power effects on donation decisions and material/experiential consumption. The first essay demonstrates power's moderating effect on the relationship between publicity and donation. Specifically, it is proposed that powerful people tend to donate more in public (vs. private) situation, whereas powerless people do not show such a difference. This effect is driven by people's concern about self-presentation in a donation scenario. Additionally, this effect only holds when people strongly believe that high donation enhances others' positive impression of them, but dilutes when such belief is not held. The theorizing is supported across four studies. The second essay focuses on how power influences consumers' preferences for material and experiential products. It is predicted that those who feel powerless tend to spend more of their discretionary money on material products than experiential products. This effect occurs through feelings of resourcefulness caused by possessing material or experiential goods. In addition, this effect is further moderated by implicit theory, such that the impact of power on material versus experience product choice persists for incremental theorists but dissipates for entity theorists. Three experiments provide support to this proposition. Overall, by investigating how power influences people's donation behavior and choice of material/experiential products, this dissertation strengthens the understanding of power's effects on consumer behavior and provides practical implications on how power status can influence consumers' well-being.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration; Marketing
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Liu, Yue, "Power Effects on Consumer Well-Being: Two Essays on The Power Effects on Donation and Material/Experiential Consumption" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5745.