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Consumer Buying Behavior: Jealous People Go For Attention-Grabbing Products

Update Date: Jan 17, 2017 09:48 AM EST
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According to a study conducted by researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, jealousy plays a significant role in consumer-buying behavior. In order to recapture the attention of their partners, jealous people have the tendency to buy attention-grabbing products.

The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, explains that the effect of jealousy on consumer buying behavior is not noticeable at first. The concept of the study is based on the recognition of the person's feelings of jealousy and his or her motivation to recapture the attention of their partner from their rival. This motivation to recapture the attention can be used in a more general situation.

According to the researchers, the motivation to recapture the attention turns into goal-directed thoughts that will influence the jealous person's behavior. This kind of behavior, if remembered, can be used by the person in a totally unrelated situation like consumer buying behavior or product preferences.

In addition, the feelings of jealousy jump from the narrow view of getting attention from the relationship partner, to a more general view associated with getting attention. This general view of the situation then becomes independent of the original purpose of the jealous person and directs his or her motivations to another situation.

The researchers then conducted five experiments to see if this attention-grabbing motivation influences the product preferences of the jealous person. Participant in the study was asked to choose between a simple product and a more flamboyant product with the goal of recapturing attention from their partners.

The results of the study found that jealous people tended to go for attention-grabbing products. However, the desire to purchase attention-grabbing products diminishes if there was little chance of other people noticing it.

In addition, the researchers found that participants who are particularly more jealous would go for attention-grabbing products even if it elicited negative attention from other people just as long as it captures the attention of the people especially their partner. This kind of jealousy-induced behavior can be used by companies to sell their services and products. It can also influence the development and production of items that will target this emotion-driven niche in the market. 

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