The Effect of Self-Enhancement and Regulatory Focus on Word of Mouth
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CitationAkpinar, E. (2016). The Effect of Self-Enhancement and Regulatory Focus on Word of Mouth. Defense One. H. 8, W. 170-179.
Word of mouth is one of the main drivers that shapes consumers’ decisions.With the advent of social media, consumer reviews, opinions about brands propagate ata higher spread and reach masses. Thus, giving the rising interest in word of mouth,many brands are interested in understanding what makes consumers talk favorablyabout their products. Existing research suggests that one of the psychologicalmotivations to engage in positive word of mouth is self-enhancement. Consumers liketo provide positive information, which makes them look good to others. Yet, it is not somuch known how self-enhancement affects sharing. Do consumers also provide positiverecommendations when they already feel good about themselves? Our research showsthat self enhancement boosts the likelihood of giving positive recommendations. Yet,this pattern does not always hold and can be moderated with regulatory focus. We showthat when consumers are under high prevention focus, higher self-enhancement, in fact,decreases the likelihood of giving positive recommendations. This framework shedlights on how companies can encourage positive word of mouth, by understanding selfenhancement and regulatory focus mechanisms.