Current Psychology

, 30:203 | Cite as

Self-Monitoring, Opinion Leadership and Opinion Seeking: a Sociomotivational Approach

Article

Abstract

In complex markets characterized by abundant choice, many people assume the roles of opinion leaders and opinion seekers. Understanding people who gravitate toward these roles is a priority for consumer psychologists, because the effectiveness of large-scale persuasion often depends on word-of-mouth or peer-to-peer communication. In this study we tested a model, inspired by prior research, that included self-monitoring, status motivation and belonging motivation as predictors of both opinion leadership and opinion seeking. Self-monitoring was a significant predictor of opinion leadership and status motivation mediated this relationship. Self-monitoring was not a significant predictor of opinion seeking, but belonging motivation was. The study highlights motivations associated with self-monitoring and also suggests that the sociomotivational bases of opinion leadership and opinion seeking differ.

Keywords

Consumer psychology Self-monitoring Opinion leadership Opinion seeking 

References

  1. Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1977). Attitude-behavior relations: A theoretical analysis and review of empirical research. Psychological Bulletin, 84(1), 888–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bargh, J. A., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2010). Motivation. In S. Fiske, D. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (pp. 268–316). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baumgarten, S. A. (1975). The innovative communicator in the diffusion process. Journal of Marketing Research, 12(2), 12–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bertrandias, L., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2006). Some psychological motivations for fashion opinion leadership and fashion opinion seeking. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 10(1), 25–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brinberg, D., & Plimpton, L. (1986). Self-monitoring and product conspicuousness on reference group influence. Advances in Consumer Research, 13(1), 297–300.Google Scholar
  7. Chan, K. K., & Misra, S. R. (1990). Characteristics of the opinion leader: A new dimension. Journal of Advertising, 19(3), 53–60.Google Scholar
  8. Chartrand, T. L., & Bargh, J. A. (1999). The chameleon effect: The perception behavior link and social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(6), 893–910.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheng, C. M., & Chartrand, T. L. (2003). Self-monitoring without awareness: Using mimicry as a nonconscious affiliation strategy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(1), 1170–1179.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Christakis, N. A., & Fowler, J. H. (2009). Connected: The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives. New York: Little, Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, R. A., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2005). Market mavens: Psychological influences. Psychology and Marketing, 22(4), 289–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1988). From catalog to classification: Murray’s needs and the five-factor model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55(1), 258–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1995). Domains and facets: Hierarchical personality assessment using the revised NEO personality inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 64(1), 21–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Day, D. V., & Schleicher, D. J. (2006). Self-monitoring at work: A motive-based perspective. Journal of Personality, 74(3), 685–713.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Cremer, D., & Leonardelli, G. J. (2003). Cooperation in social dilemmas and the need to belong: The moderating effect of group size. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, 7(2), 168–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. DeBono, K. G. (2006). Self-monitoring and consumer psychology. Journal of Personality, 74(3), 715–737.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Deutsch, M., & Gerard, H. B. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51(3), 629–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dichter, E. (1966). How word-of-mouth advertising works. Harvard Business Review, 44(6), 147–166.Google Scholar
  19. Digman, J. M. (1997). Higher-order factors of the big five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(6), 1246–1256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dodds, P. S., Muhamad, R., & Watts, D. J. (2003). An experimental study of search in global social networks. Science, 301(5634), 827–829.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Efron, B. (1987). Better bootstrap confidence intervals. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 82(397), 171–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Epstein, S. (1977). The stability of behavior: I. On predicting most of the people much of the time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(1), 1097–1126.Google Scholar
  23. Feick, L. F., & Price, L. L. (1987). The market maven: A diffuser of marketplace information. Journal of Marketing, 51(1), 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Flynn, L. R., Goldsmith, R. E., & Eastman, J. K. (1996). Opinion leaders and opinion seekers: Two new measurement scales. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 24(2), 137–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fuglestad, P. T., & Snyder, M. (2009). Self-monitoring. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of individual differences in social behavior (pp. 574–591). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  26. Gangestad, S. W., & Simpson, J. A. (1993). Development of a scale measuring genetic variation related to expressive control. Journal of Personality, 61(2), 133–158.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gangestad, S. W., & Snyder, M. (2000). Self-monitoring: Appraisal and reappraisal. Psychological Bulletin, 126(4), 530–555.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Godes, D., & Mayzlin, D. (2004). Using online conversations to study word-of-mouth communication. Marketing Science, 23(4), 545–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Harris, M. J., & Rosenthal, R. (1986). Counselor and client personality as determinants of counselor expectancy effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(2), 362–369.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hill, C. A. (1987). Affiliation motivation: People who need people… but in different ways. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(5), 1008–1018.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hill, C. A. (2009). Affiliation motivation. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of individual differences in social behavior (pp. 410–425). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  32. Hogan, R. (1983). A socioanalytic theory of personality. In M. Page (Ed.), 1982 Nebraska symposium on motivation: Personality–current theory and research (pp. 55–89). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  33. Hogan, R. (1996). A socioanalytic perspective on the five-factor model. In J. S. Wiggins (Ed.), The five factor model of personality (pp. 163–179). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  34. Hogan, J., & Holland, B. (2003). Using theory to evaluate personality and job-performance relations: A socioanalytic perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(1), 100–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hoyer, W. D., & Stokburger-Sauer, N. (2007). A comparison of antecedents and consequences of market mavens and opinion leaders. In T. Bayon, A. Herrmann, & F. Huber (Eds.), Vielfalt und Einheit in der Marketingwissenschaft: Ein Spannungsverhältnis (pp. 215–236). Wiesbaden: Gabler.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ickes, W., Reidhead, S., & Patterson, M. (1986). Machiavellianism and self-monitoring: As different as “me” and “you”. Social Cognition, 4(1), 58–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jones, M. (1993). Influence of self-monitoring on dating motivations. Journal of Research in Personality, 27(1), 197–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1996). Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22(3), 280–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Katz, E. (1957). The two-step flow of communication: An up-to-date report on an hypothesis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 21(1), 61–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. King, C. W., & Summers, J. O. (1970). Overlap of opinion leadership across consumer product categories. Journal of Marketing Research, 7(1), 43–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kunda, Z. (1990). The case for motivated reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 108(3), 480–498.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lampel, J., & Bhalla, A. (2007). The role of status seeking in online communities: Giving the gift of experience. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(2), 434–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Leary, M. R., Kelly, K. M., Cottrell, C. A., Schreindorfer, L. S. (2003). Individual differences in the need to belong: Mapping the nomological network. Unpublished manuscriptGoogle Scholar
  44. Meng, X. L., Rosenthal, R., & Rubin, D. B. (1992). Comparing correlated correlation coefficients. Psychological Bulletin, 111(1), 172–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pickett, C. L., Gardner, W. L., & Knowles, M. (2004). Getting a cue: The need to belong and enhanced sensitivity to social cues. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(9), 1095–1107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Piirto, R. (1992). The influentials. American Demographics, 14(10), 30–38.Google Scholar
  47. Pornpitakpan, C. (2010). Factors associated with opinion seeking: A cross-national study. Journal of Global Marketing, 17(2), 91–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40(3), 879–891.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Richmond, V. P. (1980). Monomorphic and polymorphic opinion leadership within a relatively closed communication system. Human Communication Research, 6(1), 111–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ridgeway, C. L. (2001). Social status and group structure. In M. A. Hogg & S. Tindale (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of social psychology: Group processes (pp. 352–375). Malden: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ridgeway, C. L., & Walker, H. (1995). Status structures. In K. Cook, G. Fine, & J. House (Eds.), Sociological perspectives on social psychology (pp. 281–310). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  52. Roberts, J. A., Hann, I., & Slaughter, S. A. (2006). Understanding the motivations, participation and performance of open source software developers: A longitudinal study of the Apache projects. Management Science, 52(7), 984–999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free.Google Scholar
  54. Rose, P., & DeJesus, S. (2007). A model of motivated cognition to account for the link between self-monitoring and materialism. Psychology and Marketing, 24(2), 93–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Schwartz, B. (2004). The paradox of choice: Why more is less. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  56. Sigall, H., & Landy, D. (1973). Radiating beauty: Effects of having a physically attractive partner on person perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28(11), 218–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Snyder, M. (1974). Self-monitoring of expressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30(1), 434–461.Google Scholar
  58. Snyder, M. (1987). Public appearances/private realities: The psychology of self-monitoring. New York: Freeman.Google Scholar
  59. Snyder, M., & Gangestad, S. (1986). On the nature of self-monitoring: Matters of assessment, matters of validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(1), 125–139.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Snyder, M., Berscheid, E., & Glick, P. (1985). Focusing on the exterior and the interior: Two investigations of the initiation of personal relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48(6), 1427–1439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic intervals for indirect effects in structural equations models. In S. Leinhart (Ed.), Sociological methodology 1982 (pp. 290–312). San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  62. Spector, P. E. (1992). Summated rating scale construction: An introduction. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  63. Trapnell, P. D., & Wiggins, J. S. (1990). Extension of the interpersonal adjective scales to include the big five dimensions of personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(4), 781–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Travers, J., & Milgram, S. (1969). An experimental study in the small world problem. Sociometry, 32(4), 425–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Trusov, M., Bucklin, R. E., & Pauwels, K. (2009). Effects of word-of-mouth versus traditional marketing: Findings from an internet social networking site. Journal of Marketing, 73(5), 90–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Venkatraman, M. P. (1989). Opinion leaders, adopters and communicative adopters: A role analysis. Psychology and Marketing, 6(1), 51–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Weimann, G. (1991). The influentials: Back to the concept of opinion leaders. Public Opinion Quarterly, 55(2), 267–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Williams, K. D., Cheung, C. K. T., & Choi, W. (2000). Cyberostracism: Effects of being ignored over the internet. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(5), 748–762.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wood, W. (2000). Attitude change: Persuasion and social influence. Annual Review of Psychology, 51(1), 539–570.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCoastal Carolina UniversityConwayUSA

Personalised recommendations