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Consumed by Identity: The Role of Psychosocial Development in the Consumption Constellations of Emerging Adults

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Title: Consumed by Identity: The Role of Psychosocial Development in the Consumption Constellations of Emerging Adults
Author: Connors, Scott
Department: Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies
Program: Marketing and Consumer Studies
Advisor: Dewhirst, TimothyGough, Karen
Abstract: Literature suggests that consumers perceive collective symbolic meaning in a set of products and brands and they associate this meaning with social roles or lifestyles that form consumption constellations. Such constellations exist as cognitive associative frameworks in consumers’ minds, which possess varying levels of accessibility. This thesis uses a multi-method approach to investigate how consumer perception and accessibility of consumption constellations is shaped by the psychosocial development that occurs during the transitional period of emerging adulthood. More specifically, two studies examine the role of the key drivers of psychosocial development at this stage: ego identity exploration and commitment. Study 1 employs a long interview methodology to provide insight into the dynamic nature of identity development during the period of emerging adulthood and its influence on perceptions of social roles and associated products and brands that comprise consumption constellations. Study 2 uses a response latency methodology to examine how emerging adults’ accessibility of consumption constellations is impacted by identity exploration and commitment, with hypotheses being partially supported. For aspirational constellations, high identity commitment participants displayed greater accessibility, with no significant differences based upon identity exploration as hypothesized.
Date: 2013-08
Rights: Attribution 2.5 Canada
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Attribution 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 2.5 Canada