Journal Search Engine
Search Advanced Search Adode Reader(link)
Download PDF Export Citaion korean bibliography PMC previewer
ISSN : 2233-4165(Print)
ISSN : 2233-5382(Online)
Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business Vol.9 No.7 pp.19-32

Interaction Effects of Lay Theories and Failure Type on Adaptive versus Compensatory Consumption Behavior

Nak-Hwan Choi**,Li Wang***,Chang Chen****
* This research was supported by “Research Base Construction Fund Support Program” funded by Chonbuk National University in 2018.
** First Author, Professor, Department of Business Administration, Chonbuk National University, Korea. E-mail:
*** Co-Author, Master, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea. E-mail:
**** Corresponding Author, Doctoral Student, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea. Tel: +82-63-270-2998, E-mail:
June 14, 2018. June 28, 2018. July 15, 2018.


Purpose - This paper aims at exploring the effects of failure types such as failure in promotion orientation and failure in prevention orientation on consumers' consumption behavior, and the moderation role of lay theories in the effects.
Research design, data, and methodology – This study employed 2 between-subject designs(failure in promotion orientation vs. failure in prevention orientation) and also 2 (failure in promotion orientation vs. failure in prevention orientation) with implicit self as the within-subject. Chinese consumers participated in the empirical study, and to verify the hypotheses ANOVA, T-test and regression analysis were used.
Results – Consumers were more likely to choose adaptive consumption behavior rather than compensatory consumption behavior when they were encountered with failure in promotion orientation versus failure in prevention orientation. Lay theories did play the moderation role in the effect of failure types on consumption behavior. The incremental theorists who think that effort is an important way to accomplish their learning goals showed more willingness to conduct compensatory consumption behavior rather than adaptive consumption behavior.
Conclusions – Marketers should put more attention on the ways by which their products can help consumers self-improve when consumers encounter with failure. They should also be aware of the importance of consumers' mindsets when designing and developing advertising messages.

JEL Classifications: C83, L81, M31, P46.





  1. Aaker, D. A. (1996). Building Strong Brands. New York: Free Press.
  2. Andrade, E. B. (2005). Behavioral consequences of affect: Combining evaluative and regulatory mechanisms. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(3), 355-362.
  3. Baas, M., De Dreu, C. K., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). A meta-analysis of 25 years of mood-creativity research: Hedonic tone, activation, or regulatory focus?. Psychological Bulletin, 134(6), 779-806.
  4. Brendl, C. M., & Higgins, E. T. (1996). Principles of judging valence: What makes events positive or negative?. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 28, 95-160.
  5. Brockner, J., & Higgins, E. T. (2001). Regulatory focus theory: Implications for the study of emotions at work. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 86(1), 35-66.
  6. Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2012). Attention and self-regulation: A control-theory approach to human behavior. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.
  7. Carver, C. S. (2009). Threat sensitivity, incentive sensitivity, and the experience of relief. Journal of Personality, 77(1), 125-138.
  8. Choi, N. H. (2016). Attribution of goal achievement to efforts and traits according to pride types and lay theory. Journal of Distribution Science, 14(2), 57-63.
  9. Choi, N. H., & Liu, C. (2014). The effects of self-referencing and counteractive construal on consumption goal reversion. Journal of Distribution Science, 12(3), 5-13.
  10. Choi, N. H., Oyunbileg, T., & Tsogtbayar, N. (2015). The effect of ambient sadness on hedonic choice. Journal of Distribution Science, 13(3), 11-19.
  11. Crowe, E., & Higgins, E. T. (1997). Regulatory focus and strategic inclinations: Promotion and prevention in decision-making. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 69(2), 117-132.
  12. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227-268.
  13. Dweck, C. S. (2013). Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, personality, and Development. Philadelphia, PA : Psychology Press.
  14. Dweck, C. S., Chiu, C. Y., & Hong, Y. Y. (1995). Implicit theories and their role in judgments and reactions: A word from two perspectives. Psychological Inquiry, 6(4), 267-285.
  15. Forgas, J. P. (1992). Affect in social judgments and decisions: A multiprocess model. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 25, 227-275.
  16. Gao, L., Wheeler, S. C., & Shiv, B. (2008). The "shaken self": Product choices as a means of restoring self-view confidence. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(1), 29-38.
  17. Han, D., Duhachek, A., & Rucker, D. D. (2015). Signaling status with luxury goods: The role of brand prominence. Journal of Marketing, 74(4), 15-30.
  18. Higgins, E. T. (1997). Beyond pleasure and pain. American Psychologist, 52(12), 1280-1300.
  19. Higgins, E. T. (1998). Promotion and prevention: Regulatory focus as a motivational principle. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 1-46.
  20. Higgins, T., & Tykocinski, O. (1992). Self-discrepancies and biographical memory: Personality and cognition at the level of psychological situation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18(5), 527-535.
  21. Higgins, E. T., & Silberman, I. (1998). Development of regulatory focus: Promotion and prevention as ways of living. In J. Heckhausen, & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Motivation and Self-Regulation Across the Life Span (pp. 78-113). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  22. Idson, L. C., Liberman, N., & Higgins, E. T. (2000). Distinguishing gains from nonlosses and losses from nongains: A regulatory focus perspective on hedonic intensity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 36(3), 252-274.
  23. Kim, S., & Gal, D. (2014). From compensatory consumption to adaptive consumption: The role of self-acceptance in resolving self-deficits. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(2), 526-542.
  24. Kim, S., & Rucker, D. D. (2012). Bracing for the psychological storm: Proactive versus reactive compensatory consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(4), 815-830.
  25. Mandel, N., Rucker, D. D., Levav, J., & Galinsky, A. D. (2017). The compensatory consumer behavior model: How self‐discrepancies drive consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 27(1), 133-146.
  26. McGregor, I., Prentice, M., & Nash, K. (2012). Approaching relief: Compensatory ideals relieve threat-induced anxiety by promoting approach- motivated states. Social Cognition, 30(6), 689-714.
  27. Park. E. J., Kim, C. G., Kim, M. S., & Han, J. H. (2015). Justice and authenticity of service recovery: Effects on customer behavioral intention. Journal of Distribution Science, 13(2), 63-73.
  28. Park, J. K., & John, D. R. (2012). Capitalizing on brand personalities in advertising: The influence of implicit self‐theories on ad appeal effectiveness. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(3), 424-432.
  29. Pham, M. T., & Avnet, T. (2004). Ideals and oughts and the reliance on affect versus substance in persuasion. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(4), 503-518.
  30. Proulx, T. (2012). Threat-compensation in social psychology: Is there a core motivation?. Social Cognition, 30(6), 643-651.
  31. Proulx, T., & Heine, S. J. (2010). The frog in Kierkegaard’s beer: Finding meaning in the threat‐compensation literature. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4(10), 889-905.
  32. Proulx, T., Inzlicht, M., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2012). Understanding all inconsistency compensation as a palliative response to violated expectations. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(5), 285-291.
  33. Rook, D. W., and Gardner, P. G. (1993). In the mood: Impulse buying’s affective antecedents. Research in Consumer Behavior, 6(7), 1-28.
  34. Rucker, D. D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2016). Growing beyond growth: Why multiple mindsets matter for consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 26(1), 161-164.
  35. Rucker, D. D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2008). Desire to acquire: Powerlessness and compensatory consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(2), 257-267.
  36. Rucker, D. D., Galinsky, A. D., & Dubois, D. (2012). Power and consumer behavior: How power shapes who and what consumers value. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(3), 352-368.
  37. Schwarz, N., & Bless, H. (1991). Happy and mindless, but sad and smart? The impact of affective states on analytic reasoning. Emotion and social Judgments, 23, 55-71.
  38. Shah, J., Higgins, T., & Friedman, R. S. (1998). Performance incentives and means: How regulatory focus influences goal attainment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(2), 285-293.
  39. Shen, H., & Wyer, R. S. (2008). The impact of negative affect on responses to affect‐regulatory experiences. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18(1), 39-48.
  40. Sivanathan, N., & Pettit, N. C. (2010). Protecting the self through consumption: Status goods as affirmational commodities. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(3), 564-570.
  41. Tritt, S. M., Inzlicht, M., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2012). Toward a biological understanding of mortality salience (and other threat compensation processes). Social Cognition, 30(6), 715-733.
  42. Zhang, L. (2009). An exchange theory of money and self-esteem in decision making. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 66-76.