Understanding, defining and measuring the trait of superstition
Delacroix, Eva; Guillard, Valérie (2008), Understanding, defining and measuring the trait of superstition, Selected Proceedings of the IAREP/SABE 2008 Conference at LUISS in Rome, Luiss University Press : Rome
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleIAREP/SABE World Meeting
Book titleSelected Proceedings of the IAREP/SABE 2008 Conference at LUISS in Rome
Luiss University Press
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract (EN)Superstitious beliefs influence a wide range of decisions and activities in the everyday life. Yet, superstition has received little attention in the consumer behaviour literature, which is surprising since superstitious behaviours are found in numerous related domains, such as sports (Schippers & Lange, 2006), gambling or travelling. In the psychological and sociological literature, there is no consensus regarding the definition and measure of superstition (Mowen & Carlson, 2003). For some authors, superstition includes all types of paranormal beliefs (i.e. religion, astrology…) which we think are not relevant for superstition construct. Other authors have a very narrow definition of superstition restricting it to popular beliefs such as (black cats bring bad luck; if you break a mirror, you will have bad luck; the number 13 is unlucky”). The aim of this research is threefold: (1) to better define the superstition construct (2) to develop a scale that measures superstition and (3) to discuss the interest of superstition for marketing. An exploratory qualitative study allowed us to define superstition as “beliefs and/or practices that have no religious nor scientific foundations and which lead people to think that certain facts (external events or one’s own actions), or objects can bring good or bad luck, or be signs announcing positive or negative consequences”. Three quantitative data collections helped us develop a scale that contains 27 items and 5 dimensions (good fortune popular beliefs a = 0,84 ; misfortune popular beliefs a = 0,85 ; belief in destiny a = 0,83 ; magical thinking a = 0,86 ; defensive pessimism a = 0,67). Finally, the article concludes on future research and how the superstition construct could help explain irrational decision making.
Subjects / KeywordsConsumer behavior; Superstition; marketing; échelle de mesure
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