Electrophysiological and hemodynamic studies provide substantial evidence of dissimilar brain responses when people view emotional compared with neutral pictures. This study investigates consumer brain responses underpinning passive viewing of luxury (high emotional value) versus basic (low emotional value) branded products when participants are alone or with another person. Conforming to social facilitation theory and using electroencephalogram methods, the authors recorded event-related potentials while female participants passively viewed pictures of luxury and basic branded products. They examined event-related-potential amplitudes in three time windows, corresponding to the P2 and P3 components and the late positive potential (LPP). Dissimilar brain responses occurred in the Together but not the Alone condition for the P2 and P3 components over visual cortex sites. The LPP amplitude was higher for luxury than for basic branded products, but only in the Together condition, suggesting that the presence of another person magnifies the emotional effect of brand type. Taken together, the results suggest that LPP amplitude during passive viewing of relevant marketing images reflects increased attention allocation and motivational significance, both enhanced by the presence of another person, to stimuli with higher emotional value.

, , , ,
doi.org/10.1509/jmr.13.0560, hdl.handle.net/1765/87535
ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Marketing Research
Department of Psychology

Pozharliev, R., Verbeke, W., van Strien, J., & Bagozzi, R. (2015). Merely being with you increases my attention to luxury products: Using EEG to understand consumers' emotional experience with luxury branded products. Journal of Marketing Research, 52(4), 546–558. doi:10.1509/jmr.13.0560