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EMAC 2023 Annual

The Effect of Stereotype Threats on Price Perceptions

Published: May 24, 2023


Lei Song, Penn State Abington; Rajneesh Suri, Drexel University; Yanliu Huang, Drexel University


This paper examines how a stereotype threat, which entails being aware of a negative stereotype about one’s social group (e.g., gender), affects consumers’ price perceptions. We conducted three studies and found that being aware of a negative stereotype about one’s social group (i.e., gender here) led consumers to use price more as a quality indicator. We also determined that reappraisal—an alternative way of coping with stereotype threats—reduced the impact of a stereotype threat and, subsequently, decreased reliance on price to infer quality. This research (1) contributes to the consumer decision-making literature by examining the stereotype threat effect in in-store product purchasing contexts; (2) provides theoretical contributions to the processing of price information by exploring the role of a stereotype threat in price perceptions and revealing that impairment of consumers’ working memory resources affects price perceptions.