Explaining Consumer Conduct: From Planned to Self-Expressive Behavior1


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    The authors thank the reviewers for their helpful comments.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Lucia Mannetti, Department of Social and Development Psychology, Via dei Marsi, 78, 1-00183, Rome, Italy. E-mail: lucia.mannetti@uniromal.i.


Within mainstream social psychology, consumer behavior has been explained mainly in terms of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Recently, some authors suggested that self-identity dimensions can explain different types of intentions. To compare the predictive power of a tentative new model of self-expressive consumer behavior with that of the TPB, three studies were conducted in which, besides the classical variables of the model of TPB, variables concerning self-identity were also taken into account. Three independent samples (N1= 257, N2= 214, N3= 298) were recruited to study the intention to buy fashionable watches, trendy backpacks, and cellular telephones in relation to the aforementioned variables derived from TPB and from identity theory. Data analyses, based on structural equation modeling, show that identity variables contribute significantly to the explanation of purchase intention.