Green with Envy at Your Kid: The Effects of Two Different Types of Envy on Purchase Intention

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Ahn, Suhyoung
Shin, Yeun Wook
Lee, Jeong Soon
Koh, Ae-Ran
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Envy is an emotion that “arises when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it”. Envy has been classified into two types: benign envy and malicious envy. Benign envy emphasizes the brighter side of envy, which is related to moving-up motivation, while malicious envy represents the destructive side of envy, which motivates people to pull down. The purpose of this study is to address research gap by exploring how envy affects purchase intention among mom through experimental design. Participants were recruited by research company, total one hundred and twenty eight moms with 5-7 year old kids were randomized in each study. Envy is manipulated into two types depending on the deservingness of the situation. Participants were given a short scenario which described a friend who has more capital for raising her children. In purchasing economic capital related products, benign envy condition(M=2.57, SD=1.36) reported greater desire for purchasing products than malicious envy condition(M=2.35, SD=1.21)(F=5.392, p<.05). In purchasing cultural capital related products, benign envy condition(M=4.00, SD=0.78) reported greater desire for purchasing products than malicious envy condition(M=3.98, SD=1.08)(F=.235,n.s). The findings confirm that difference depending on type of envy, and benign envy play an important role for Koreans in purchase intention. In result, envy has no influence in purchasing cultural capital related products. It reveals that in Korea, fashion is used as a strategy of cultural capital, and sense of advanced taste are likely to be interpreted as part of cultural capital.