Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being

1st Edition

Edited by David Glen Mick, Simone Pettigrew, Cornelia (Connie) Pechmann, Julie L. Ozanne


766 pages

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pub: 2011-05-23
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Daily existence is more interconnected to consumer behaviors than ever before, encompassing many issues of well-being. Problems include unhealthy eating; credit card mismanagement; alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and gambling abuse; marketplace discrimination; and ecological deterioration; as well as at-risk groups who are impoverished, impaired, or elderly. Opportunities for well-being via consumer behaviors include empowerment via the Internet, product sharing, leisure pursuits, family consumption, and pro-environmental activities, among others.

In 2005 the Association for Consumer Research launched Transformative Consumer Research (TCR). Its mission is to foster research on quality of life that is both rigorous and applied for better assisting consumers, their caregivers, policy administrators, and executives.

This edited volume includes 33 chapters on a wide range of topics by expert international authors. All royalties from sales of this book are donated to the Association to support TCR grants.


"The book is an extraordinary valuable source of theories, concepts, research approaches, and substantive domains that prioritizes consumer well-being within the academic consumer behaviour research." - Carlo Mari, School of Economics, University of Molise, Italy, in the Journal of Consumer Policy

"Just like the typical shopping mall, this book offers something tempting to everyone — whether you’re a researcher, practitioner, reformer, student, or simply a curious consumer. But unlike most stuff at the mall, the ideas on display here won’t make you fat and broke and degrade the environment, but instead, they provide new insights on how we can consume sustainably, healthily, and wisely on a changing and increasingly constrained planet." - Erik Assadourian, Senior Fellow, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC, USA

"Having often written about the troubling impacts of over-consumption in America, I have long wished that scholars of marketing and consumer behavior would become deeply and directly involved in promoting the health and welfare of consumers and questioning the unsustainable impacts on the Earth of current consumption patterns. I have been delighted recently to see many of them take on this important challenge. With their perceptive theories and varied investigative methods, these academic consumer researchers bring exceptional skills to addressing and resolving key challenges of well-being that confront all of us worldwide. This inaugural book on Transformative Consumer Research brings together the best of their ground-breaking work and creates a foundation of knowledge and a guide for action and meaningful collaboration among researchers, consumers, activists, policy makers, and business executives. I urge you to read this timely book and join with its authors to help achieve a higher quality of life in a more sustainable society." - John de Graaf, documentary producer for public television and co-author of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic.

"This thoughtful compendium by world-renowned psychologists, sociologists, economists, and consumer behavior scholars addresses significant and timely topics on weighty issues facing marketers (e.g., sustainability), consumers (materialism, addiction, saving, risky decision making), policy makers (consumer vulnerability), and society (obesity, aging, poverty). Succinct research summaries and provocative research agendas offer hope for understanding how marketing and consumption choices can make for a better tomorrow. The volume is a must read for those with the courage to boldly attack consequential issues regarding the role of consumption on personal, social, and societal welfare." - Deborah MacInnis, Charles L. and Ramona I. Hilliard Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California

Table of Contents

M. Csikszentmihalyi, Foreword: Consuming and Evolving. Part 1: Declaring and Projecting Transformative Consumer Research D.G. Mick, S. Pettigrew, C. Pechmann, J.L. Ozanne, The Origins, Qualities, and Envisionments of Transformative Consumer Research. A.R. Andreasen, M.E. Goldberg, M.J. Sirgy, Foundational Research on Consumer Welfare: Opportunities for a Transformative Consumer Research Agenda. B. Wansink, Activism Research: Designing Transformative Lab and Field Studies. J.L. Ozanne, E.M. Fischer, Sensitizing Principles and Practices Central to Social Change Methodologies. Part 2: Economic and Social Issues M. Viswanathan, Conducting Transformative Consumer Research: Lessons Learned in Moving from Basic Research to Transformative Impact in Subsistence Markets. C.J. Shultz II, S.J. Shapiro,Transformative Consumer Research in Developing Economies: Perspectives, Trends, and Reflections from the Field. J.A. Rosa, S. Geiger-Oneta, A. Barrios Fajardo, Hope and Innovativeness: Transformative Factors for Subsistence Consumer Merchants. J.D. Williams, G.R. Henderson, Discrimination and Injustice in the Marketplace: They Come in All Sizes, Shapes, and Colors. Part 3: Technological Edges D.L. Hoffman, Internet Indispensability, Online Social Capital, and Consumer Well-Being. R.V. Kozinets, F.M. Belz, P. McDonagh, Social Media for Social Change: A TCR Perspective. T.P. Novak, Quality of Virtual Life. Part 4: Materialism and the Environment J.E. Burroughs, A. Rindfleisch, What Welfare? On the Definition and Domain of Transformative Consumer Research and the Foundational Role of Materialism. P. McDonagh, S. Dobscha, A. Prothero, Sustainable Consumption and Production: Challenges for Transformative Consumer Research. W. Kilbourne, J. Mittelstaedt, From Profligacy to Sustainability: Can We Get There from Here? Transforming the Ideology of Consumption. Part 5: Enhancing Health S. A. Grier, E.S. Moore, Tackling the Childhood Obesity Epidemic: An Opportunity for Transformative Consumer Research. K.G. Grunert, L.E. Bolton, M.M. Raats, Processing and Acting upon Nutrition Labeling on Food: The State of Knowledge and New Directions for Transformative Consumer Research. C. Pechmann, A. Biglan, J.W. Grube, C. Cody, Transformative Consumer Research for Addressing Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption. M. Fishbein, S. E. Middlestadt, Using Behavioral Theory to Transform Consumers and Their Environment to Prevent the Spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections. Part 6: Consumer Finances G. Loewenstein, C.E. Cryder, S. Benartzi, A. Previtero, Addition by Division: Partitioning Real Accounts for Financial Well-Being. D. Soman, A. Cheema, E.Y. Chan, Understanding Consumer Psychology to Avoid Abuse of Credit Cards. P.A. Keller, A. Lusardi, Employee Retirement Savings: What We Know and What We Are Discovering for Helping People to Prepare for Life after Work. Part 7: Other Risky Behaviors and At-Risk Consumers R.J. Faber, K.D. Vohs, A Model of Self-Regulation: Insights for Impulsive and Compulsive Problems with Eating and Buying. J. Cotte, K.A. LaTour, Gambling Beliefs vs. Reality: Implications for Transformative Public Policy. J.M. Albright, Porn 2.0: The Libidinal Economy and the Consumption of Desire in the Digital Age. A. Litt, D.M. Pirouz, B. Shiv, Neuroscience and Addictive Consumption. S. Menzel Baker, M. Mason, Toward a Process Theory of Consumer Vulnerability and Resiliency: Illuminating Its Transformative Potential. S. Pettigrew, G. Moschis, Consumer Well-Being in Later Life. Part 8: Family Matters R.J. Prinz, Effective Parenting to Prevent Adverse Outcomes and Promote Child Well-Being at a Population Level. A.M. Epp, L.L. Price, Family Time in Consumer Culture: Implications for Transformative Consumer Research. Part 9: Enriching Behaviors and Virtues R. Belk, R. Llamas, The Nature and Effects of Sharing in Consumer Behavior. S.R. Maddi, Resilience and Consumer Behavior for Higher Quality of Life. D.G. Mick, B. Schwartz, Can Consumers Be Wise? Aristotle Speaks to the 21st Century. Part 10: Epilogue D.R. Lehmann, R.P. Hill, Epilogue to Transformative Consumer Research: Suggestions for the Future.

About the Editors

David Mick is the Robert Hill Carter Professor of Marketing at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. He holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University. His research has focused on communication, motives, and meaning in consumer behavior, including advertising, self-gifts, technological products, materialism, and wisdom. His research has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of Business Ethics, among other outlets. He has also previously co-edited three books, including The Why of Consumption (2000) and Inside Consumption: Consumer Motives, Goals, and Desires (2005). His research has received the Best Article award at the Journal of Consumer Research (1989), the Maynard Award for a prominent theoretical contribution in the Journal of Marketing (1999), and the Dunn Award for Excellence in Advertising Research from the University of Illinois (2004). He is presently a member of the editorial review boards at the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. David is also an elected Fellow of the Society for Consumer Psychology (2004), former Associate Editor and Head Editor of the Journal of Consumer Research (1997-2003), and past President of the Association for Consumer Research (2005).

Simone Pettigrew is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing in the UWA Business School at the University of Western Australia. Prior to becoming an academic researcher, Simone was employed in marketing positions in the Australian energy sector. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia and has published research in a variety of journals, including Marketing Theory, International Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Australian Journal of Primary Health, and Aging and Mental Health. She has won numerous competitive grants from Australian and international funding organizations. Her current grant-funded projects focus on childhood obesity, age-related mental illness, and alcohol-related harm during adolescence. Simone is founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Research for Consumers ( Since 2001, JRC has published research that educates, empowers, and benefits consumers. As a web-based publication that successfully targets academic, consumer, and public policy audiences, JRC makes new consumer behavior knowledge accessible to multiple target groups.

Cornelia (Connie) Pechmann is a Professor of Marketing at the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California Irvine. She holds an M.S. in Psychology, M.B.A., and Ph.D. in marketing from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Pechmann conducts controlled experiments to examine the effects of controversial forms of advertising on consumers, including tobacco-related advertising and comparative advertising. She has received $1.5 million in grants to study the effects of tobacco-related media messages on adolescents including cigarette ads and product placements and antismoking ads and television episodes. Dr. Pechmann has published over 50 refereed articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings in top academic publications such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, and American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Pechmann’s article on cigarette advertising and adolescents in Journal of Consumer Research was named Best Article for 2002. Dr. Pechmann serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Social Influence, and Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. She has also served as a consultant to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy’s youth anti-drug media campaign, and as an expert witness in Vioxx drug and tobacco cases. Articles citing Dr. Pechmann’s research have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

Julie L. Ozanne is the Sonny Merryman Professor of Marketing at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research has focused on the problems of poverty and health care access in rural Appalachia, the struggles of low literate adults in the marketplace, illegal consumption among juvenile delinquents, environmentally sensitive consumption, and consumer activism. She specializes in alternative methodologies for the study of social problems, such as interpretive, critical, feminist, and participatory action research methods. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Journal of International Business Studies, The Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Marketing, and Product and Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces, among other outlets. Her research has won the JCR Ferber award and she has been a Visiting Erskine Scholar at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. She is on the editorial board of Journal of Public Policy & Marketing and Consumption, Culture, & Markets, and she is a member of the ACR advisory council.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Consumer Behavior
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology