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On resisting and yielding to temptation: influence and persuasion in the consumer sphere

05 June 2012

Inaugural lecture: Mr. prof. B.M. Fennis, 16.15 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Title: On resisting and yielding to temptation: influence and persuasion in the consumer sphere

Leeropdracht: Consumentengedrag/consumer behavior

Faculty: Economics and Business

We are all frequently approached and sometimes harassed by advertisers, fundraisers, and sales-representatives attempting to seduce us to yield to temptations and get us to say “yes” to their offer. Frequently, they are successful in their attempts, but occasionally we are able to ward-off an unwanted persuasive attack. How do we navigate in this environment? How do we run the daily gauntlet of consumption temptations and selling traps that we are exposed to in the consumer sphere? When are we persuaded? How can we explain that these influence attempts are frequently able to feed the flame of desire? And under what conditions are we able to resist an unwanted persuasive attack? These are the questions I will highlight in this inaugural lecture. I will discuss key findings from our program of research on influence and persuasion in consumer influence settings and will emphasize the pivotal role that consumer self-regulation plays in this process. I will highlight results that show that failures at such self-regulation can foster yielding to influence attempts and that active self-regulation may sometimes be required to resist being influenced. Conversely, our results also show that impaired self-regulation still offers possibilities for resistance of unwanted persuasive communications and that active self-regulation sometimes produces mindful susceptibility to influence and persuasion. I will also discuss implications of these findings for consumer wellbeing and empowerment and will give a brief outline of the research agenda for the coming years.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.42 p.m.
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