U of M Researcher Discovers Stereotypes Can Deter Consumer Purchases

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Study also finds scent of vanilla helps consumers feel calmer and more assured of their transaction

Steve Rudolph, Carlson School of Management, skr@umn.edu, (612) 624-8770
Preston Smith, University News Service, smith@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (02/23/2011) --The perception of negative stereotyping, particularly in the areas of financial services and automobile sales and service, can cause consumers to fear being duped and forgo their purchases, according to new research by University of Minnesota associate professor Kathleen D. Vohs.

Vohs, the Land O'Lakes Professor for Excellence in Marketing at the university's Carlson School of Management, and co-authors Hakkyun Kim (Concordia University, Canada) and Kyoungmi Lee (Yonsei University, Korea) found that a potential buyer, aware of negative associations held about a group to which he or she belongs, may experience apprehension when transacting with someone from outside this group. This nervousness detrimentally impacts purchasing decisions.

"People naturally withdraw from situations where they anticipate being stereotyped," says Vohs. "They fear being duped or inadvertently reinforcing the negative association."
To see a video of Vohs discussing her research, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoMbJWXrEYM.

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This page contains a single entry by sara m published on April 5, 2011 4:24 PM.

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