Consumers prefer nostalgic products when they feel the need to belongMarch 23rd, 2010 - 1:44 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, March 23 (ANI): Ever wondered why you sometimes like to watch an old episode of ‘Friends’ instead of your current favourite TV show? Well, a new research seems to have found the answer.
It has shown that when people acutely feel the need to belong, they reach for a nostalgic treat.
Authors Katherine E. Loveland (Arizona State University), Dirk Smeesters (Erasmus University, The Netherlands), and Naomi Mandel (Arizona State University) examined situations that lead people to prefer nostalgic products (products that remind them of the past) over more contemporary products.
They conducted a series of five experiments in which they found that the key to preferring nostalgic products is the need to belong.
“Whenever a situation arises in which people feel a heightened need to belong to a group, or generally need to feel socially connected, they will show a corresponding higher preference for nostalgic products,” the authors said.
In one experiment, the participants played a ball-tossing game on a computer in which some people were excluded soon after beginning.
“Those people who were excluded after just a couple of ball tosses not only said that feeling like they belong is more important to them than people who were not excluded did, but they also chose more nostalgic than contemporary products in a variety of categories, including movies, TV shows, food brands, cars, and even shower gel,” the authors said.
In a final experiment, the authors discovered that when participants were excluded (from the same ball game as in the previous experiments) they not only felt a higher need to belong, but their need to belong was “cured” by eating a “nostalgic cookie”-a brand that had been popular in the past.
The study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)
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Tags: arizona state university, ball game, cars, consumers, contemporary products, dirk, erasmus university, favourite tv, food brands, journal of consumer research, loveland, naomi mandel, netherlands, nostalgic products, participants, preference