Research in political psychology indicates that liberals are less motivated than conservatives by epistemic, existential, and relational needs to reduce uncertainty, threat, and social discord, and are therefore more prone to challenge the status quo. In a compelling extension of this work into the field of consumer behavior, Jung, Garbarino, Briley, and Wynhausen (this issue) demonstrate that people residing in more liberal (vs. conservative) areas register more complaints with the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and dispute more resolutions offered in response to their complaints. Furthermore, liberals were found to object more strongly to the hypothetical imposition of an unanticipated banking fee, and this effect was mediated by system justification. Inspired by Jung and colleagues, we investigated the hypothesis that liberals would also be more likely to buy and boycott consumer products for political reasons. We analyzed data from the American National Election Studies and European Social Surveys and discovered that, even after we adjusted for demographic factors, liberals in the United States and leftists in all 15 European countries were more likely than conservatives and rightists to report having bought a product-or refrained from buying a product-for political reasons.
- Consumer complaints
- Political ideology
- System justification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics