Embarrassment can easily influence the consumer decision making process and therefore plays an important role in consumer behavior. Despite this, research on embarrassment is scanty. Moreover, the few studies actually focusing on embarrassment use it as an outcome variable, i.e. investigate what affects embarrassment, rather than how embarrassment influences consumer decision making. The aim of this research is to determine the negative effect of embarrassment on consumers’ willingness to buy a product, and a way to reduce it – namely, willingness to disclose (e.g. creating and subsequently disseminating personal Web sites, and other forms of conspicuous self-presentation in social networks). Across two experimental studies, we show that embarrassment lowers the willingness to buy of the product and that disclosure indicates an effective strategy for consumers to cope with embarrassing situations.
Addis, M., Gibbert, M., Miniero, G. (2012). Embarrassment, Disclosure and Willingness to Buy.