Object

Objects and Conversations (08-22-17)

Owned objects get conversations started, and that’s generally a good thing.  Wiener, Bettman, and Luce report that “consumers can use publically displayed products [they own] as tools to help them to initiate conversations with others, facilitate self-disclosure, and help these conversations go well. . . . the products a person chooses to display may influence how successful the ‘first meeting’ conversation between two strangers is. Specifically, we examine how products can facilitate self-disclosure. Self-disclosure increases liking between people (Collins & Miller, 1994). . . . .

Using Stuff to Describe Ourselves (06-22-17)

Rozenkrants, Wheeler, and Shiv studied how humans convey information about themselves through the products they choose.  The researchers found that “Previous research has shown that material goods can help people self-express, either because the products are themselves self-expressive (e.g., a band t-shirt) or because the products are associated with a desired group.”  The Rozenkrants lead team focused on how polarized opinions affect messages sent by objects.  Polarization of opinions about products was described as occurring when  “some people strongly like the product and other people st

Positive Memories a Plus (05-23-17)

Speer and Delgado report that thinking about happy memories enhances wellbeing when people are stressed.  Their study “explored whether recalling autobiographical memories that have a positive content—that is, remembering the good times—can dampen the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis stress response.”  Study participants were stressed psychologically by the researchers and the scientists then determined that “recalling positive, but not neutral, memories resulted in a dampened cortisol rise and reduced negative affect [mood] . . . .

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