This article extends the discussion of congruity or the preference by consumers for alternatives similar to themselves 1) by examining the effect in a retail context and, 2) by considering the moderating role of self-monitoring, or the tendency to regulate one's mood in line with the social context, on congruity. Two experiments find that when low self-monitors imagine a context that differs in valence from their mood, they feel more distinctive from the environment while high self-monitors do not. The feelings of low self-monitors, in turn, seem to lead them to prefer contexts that are congruent in valence with their mood. High self-monitors on the other hand prefer a context that differs in valence from their mood. It is argued that high self-monitors seek a mood-incongruent context to achieve normative regulation of their mood. The implications of these results for retail atmospherics are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology