From conformity to reactance: Contingent role of network centrality in consumer-to-consumer influence

Abstract : Central consumers in a group often are influential, because their social prominence commands conformity from other members. Yet, there can be another contradictory effect of centrality, such that other members regard it as a threat to their attitudinal freedom and express reactance instead of conformity. Whether a group member conforms or reacts to the evaluation of a more central member might depend on the strength of their relationship, which determines the social cost of disagreeing. We provide evidence of such an interaction between centrality and relational strength with an experiment where participants with preexisting affective ties of varying strengths taste a snack in groups (Study 1) and a field study where participants connected by instrumental ties consume a complex service (Study 2). A scenario-based experiment manipulating centrality and strength of ties provides further evidence that reactance underlies the observed effects (Study 3).
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Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, 2017, 75, pp.86-94. 〈10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.02.012 〉
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Pabitra Chatterjee, Barthelemy Chollet, Olivier Trendel. From conformity to reactance: Contingent role of network centrality in consumer-to-consumer influence. Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, 2017, 75, pp.86-94. 〈10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.02.012 〉. 〈hal-01589885〉

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