Do consumer choices augment narcissism? The role of self-referent processing

Michail Kokkoris, Constantine Sedikides, Ulrich Kühnen

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Drawing on the choice and self-referent processing literatures, we hypothesized that the act of making consumer choices will augment narcissism, because it directs attention to the self (i.e., increases self-referencing). Results of three experiments provided support for the proposed path from choice to narcissism via self-referencing (indirect effect), but not for the path from choice to narcissism (total effect). This pattern, first reported in Experiment 1, held only for agentic choices (e.g., products for personal use), which prompt thoughts about the self, and not for communal choices (e.g., charitable organizations), which prompt thoughts about others (Experiment 2). Also, this pattern generalized across agentic choices of public and private products (Experiment 3). We consider theoretical and practical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550 - 575
JournalSelf and Identity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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