Social insecurity and the role of possessions: buying friends or replacing them?
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This dissertation extends the literatures on coping and social anxiety by suggesting that people cope with social threats not just by directly trying to create (and restore) social relationships, but also by indirectly coping with the psychological fallout. It suggests that they do this by seeking hedonic product benefits that can salve emotional hurt, and by seeking product benefits that affirm unrelated aspects of the self concept. Two studies with different manipulations and outcome measures show that both manipulated and chronic forms of social anxiety can give rise to any of the above coping behaviors, and shows that the pursuit of these benefits is often moderated by relevant personality variables (e.g., entity theory and values-based transformations, emotional-awareness and hedonic transformations, and materialism and extrinsic transformations). These studies largely fail to replicate past findings that self-monitoring can moderate seeking social benefits. Finally, a new study by Lee and Shrum (2012) is discovered. A reanalysis of that paper’s data suggests that there may be a critical role for implicit/explicit processing in consumers’ deciding whether a given coping strategy is suitable. Applying this distinction to study 2’s data generates a far more close-fitting description of its data.
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