You Like What I Like, but I Don't Like What You Like: Uniqueness Motivations in Product Preferences
Consumers often gauge their own and others' preferences for products through social comparisons. This research examines the role of consumers' need for uniqueness (CNFU) in two common social comparisons: projection and introjection. Consumers project (i.e., rely on their own preferences to estimate those of others), regardless of their CNFU. However, high-CNFU consumers are less likely than low-CNFU ones to introject (i.e., rely on estimates of others' preferences to gauge their own). Moreover, alleviating the introjection-induced threat to the high-CNFU consumers' self-concept by having them deliberate on their differentness from others increases their likelihood of introjection. Together, these findings confirm our basic contention that the process underlying introjection is more motivational in nature than that underlying projection. (c) 2010 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..