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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The social context of advertising: Authenticity, social identity, and reflected appraisals
by Chalmers, Tandy Dayle, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2009, 190; 3355008
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the role of social context in advertisement responses, specifically focusing on how the interaction between the social identities to which a person ascribes influence the manner in which they respond to advertisements. The first essay explores how social context and social identity influence perceptions of an advertisement's authenticity. A multi-method, four-study inquiry into perceptions of advertising authenticity combining depth interview, survey, and experimental techniques finds consumer perceptions of authenticity play a key role in attitudes toward advertisements. Findings show consumers naturally assess ads in terms of authenticity and that these perceptions are entwined with self-referencing. In addition, other-referencing is shown to also be linked to authenticity perceptions and ad liking. Finally, a boundary condition on the relationship between authenticity perceptions, self-referencing, and ad liking is discussed, where consumers' reflected appraisals of how they think others will view an advertisement moderates the relationship between self-referencing and attitude towards the ad.

The second essay explores, using three experiments, the relationship between reflected appraisals, self-referencing, and ad liking in more detail. Specifically, this essay determines the conditions under which negative reflected appraisals do and not decrease attitude towards the ad. First, this essay shows that when identity and self-referencing are primed, consumers resist negative appraisals about an identity congruent advertisement such that negative appraisals do not decrease ad attitudes. This effect however, does not hold when the target market for an advertisement is external to the social identity and negative appraisals are attributed to out-group members. Here, consumers pay attention to the negative appraisals and decease their attitude toward the ad. This effect, referred to as the dirty laundry effect, occurs because consumers conceptualize identity congruent advertisements as a type of self-presentation. Thus, instead of engaging in defensive behaviors in the face of negative appraisals, consumers become concerned with how they think other people will view them based on the content of the advertisement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Price, Linda L.
Commitee: Coulter, Robin, Greenberg, Jeff, Schau, Hope
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Management
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 70/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing
Keywords: Advertising, Authenticity, Other-referencing, Reflected appraisals, Self-referencing, Social identity
Publication Number: 3355008
ISBN: 978-1-109-12957-1
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