Best Consumer Behavior Paper Award
Paper won Award at the Italian Society of Marketing Conference 2020
"Psychological Threats and Their Effects on Consumers and Businesses: A Critical Review and Future Research Directions" won award for Best Consumer Behaviour Paper
Authors: Aulona Ulqinaku, Leeds University Business School, Leeds, UK & Gülen Sarial-Abi, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark
Extensive research has investigated antecedents and consequences of psychological threats on well-being and behavior. However, past research mainly investigated individual behavior under threats, mostly ignoring how companies can respond to psychological threats experienced at a societal level.
With the increased experiences of social exclusion threats during COVID-19 pandemic or increased amounts of mortality threats after terrorist attacks, this paper proposes a framework for how businesses, in general, and marketing strategies, in particular, can be adapted to help consumers coping with psychological threats at a societal level. In this review, we identify and synthesize the empirical research on psychological threats and marketing.
Specifically, we review research on three psychological threats that may be salient at a societal level: (1) social exclusion threats, (2) social identity threats and (3) mortality salience threats. We propose and synthesize coping with these psychological threats under three main ways: (1) social connectedness, (2) time connectedness, and (3) self connectedness. Our organizing framework allows us to organize ways to cope with psychological threats at a societal level and to extend these across marketing and business research. This review facilitates a more impactful future research agenda in both marketing theory and practice.