Moderators of the Negativity Effect: Commitment, Identification, and Consumer Sensitivity to Corporate Social Performance

Liu, T., Wang, C., & Wu, L. (2009). Moderators of the negativity effect: Commitment, identification, and consumer sensitivity to corporate social performance. Psychology and Marketing, 27(1), 54-70.

Numerous studies have identified constructs such as commitment and brand familiarity as moderators of negativity effects. However, boundary conditions for this moderation have yet to be identified within a retailing context. This study tries to rectify this gap in the literature. This study finds that three factors (commitment, consumer-company identification, and consumer sensitivity to corporate social performance) moderate attitude change toward a retailer following exposure to moderately negative (vs. positive) publicity. However, given extremely negative information, the buffering effects of the moderating factors disappear, and attitude changes are significant for all consumers.

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