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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Low Socio-economic Status and High Stress Suppress Consumer Creativity

Published: May 27, 2020


Helen Duh, University of Witwatersrand; Angelos Stamos, Center for Behavioral Engineering Research (BEE) & Research Center Marketing; Siegfried Dewitte, KU Leuven


Consumer creativity; Socio-economic status; Stress


Consumer creativity benefits companies and consumers, through co-creation of ideas and products/services. Creativity is not bestowed on selected few, but influenced by situational and contextual factors. The family investment and stress models posit that socio-economic status (SES) background is key determinant of various psychological and cognitive outcomes. Thus, we used four measures of SES and two measures of creativity to examine whether SES and stress impact consumer creativity in an African context. In two studies, we show that SES (past and current) is associated with creativity. The first study established the link between SES background and creativity using a South African sample, because the link had not been tested in developing country setting and for a highly SES inequality country like South Africa. The second study replicated the finding in older, larger US based sample and provided an initial evidence of a moderator (current stress) in the SES-creativity relationship.