Princeton University Library Catalog

The Effect of Need for Uniqueness on Advertisement Preferences

Sawin, Alexandra [Browse]
Senior thesis
Cooper, Joel [Browse]
Allen, Lesley [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Psychology [Browse]
Class year:
70 pages
Summary note:
Optimum distinctiveness theory suggests that individuals desire an optimum level of similarity to and distinctiveness from their peers, and they will make behavioral choices in attempt to achieve this balance. One way individuals can distinguish themselves is by obtaining scarce products. This study explores how conditions of scarcity, similarity, status, and privacy affect preference for commodity advertisements. Two hundred and six Princeton University undergraduates were given false feedback regarding how similar or unique they were to their peers. They then rated preferences for seven pairs of advertisements. Each pair contained a scarce and a non-scarce advertisement for the same product. The products advertised were either of high or low status. For this portion of the experiment, participants were told either that their answers would be kept private or made public to other participants. Major findings indicate an overall preference for scarce over non-scarce advertisements, a preference for scarce advertisements in the private condition, and a preference for high status over low status items in a non-scarce condition. These results are important to the study of behavior and for advertisers because they provide insight as to under what conditions and what types of people favor scarcity.