The signature effect: Signing influences consumption-related behavior by priming self-identity

Keri L. Kettle, Gerald Häubl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Evidence from four studies shows that signing one's name influences consumptionnrelated behavior in a predictable manner. Signing acts as a general self-identity prime that facilitates the activation of the particular aspect of a consumer's self-identity that is afforded by the situation, resulting in behavior congruent with that aspect. Our findings demonstrate that signing causes consumers to become more (less) engaged when shopping in a product domain they (do not) closely identify with (studies 1 and 2), to identify more (less) closely with in(out)-groups (study 3), and to conform more with (diverge more from) in(out)-groups when making consumption choices in preference domains that are relevant to signaling one's identity (study 4). We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-489
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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