Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

L. J. Shrum

L. J. Shrum

My main research focus is applying social cognition concepts to understand the determinants of consumer behavior. Recent and current research topics include the antecedents and consequences of materialism; cognitive processes underlying media effects; consumer information processing; psycholinguistic characteristics of brand names; cross-cultural psychology; impulsive consumption and self-regulation; and the determinants of conspicuous consumption.

Current Projects

(1) Investigating the effects of social exclusion on conspicuous consumption and helping behavior: This project is primarily the work of one of my doctoral students, Jae Lee. The project seeks to understand inconsistencies in prior research on social exclusion by focusing on potential differential effects of different types of social exclusion (e.g., explicit rejection vs. implicit ignoring) and the different needs that these two types of rejection threaten. The project investigates the differential effects of the different types of social exclusion on both conspicuous consumption and helping behavior. [with Jae Lee, UTSA]

(2) Investigating the relations among daily emotions, materialism, and shopping behavior: This project investigates the emotions that accompany shopping and purchasing behavior, and in particular investigates whether these emotional reactions differ as a function level of materialism. The study uses a novel research method, the Dailey Experience Method, to tap emotions immediately after the activity. Participants are given Palm Pilots to carry for a two-week period, and they are randomly contacted four times per day to measure their immediate emotions. In addition, they also fill out surveys measuring their emotions any time they shop, pay bills, or exercise. This method aims to get more reliable emotion data than that which would be obtained through long-term recall. [with Jill Sundie, University of Houston; and Dan Beal, Rice University]

(3) Investigating the relation between materialism and regulatory focus: This project investigates the relation between materialism and regulatory focus and the processes that underlie this relation. We look in particular at differential effects as a function of the dimension of materialism (happiness, success, centrality), and the mediating role of factors such as extrinsic goal pursuit and self-esteem. [with Mario Pandelaere, University of Gent, Belgium; Inge Lens, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; and Jae Lee, UTSA)]

(4) Investigating the role of psycholinguistic characteristics in the interpretation of brand names: One of the aspects of words that has been shown to have an effect on interpretations of those words is phonetic symbolism. Phonetic symbolism refers to the ability of phonemes (the fundamental building blocks of language) to convey information on their own. This project investigates the implications of this notion for the perceptions of and preference for brand names. We are currently conducting lab experiments to determine the nature of the processes underlying these effects. We have also conducted experiments to determine whether these effects generalize to bilinguals in English and another language, and have collected these data from participants in France, Taiwan, and the U.S. [with Tina M. Lowrey, UTSA; David Luna, Baruch University; Dawn Lerman, Fordham University; and Min Liu, UTSA]

(5) Investigating phonetic symbolism as a fluency effect: This project investigates the extent to which ease of processing (fluency) mediates phonetic symbolism effects on brand names. The first study investigates how phonetic symbolism can facilitate fluency measured via a lexical decision task, and whether the fluency mediates brand name preference. The second study uses secondary data to determine the relation between the phonetic symbolism of financial (stock) ticker symbols and their relation to stock performance. [with Tina M. Lowrey, UTSA; and Victor Cook, Tulane University]

(6) Investigating the relation between self-construal and impulsive consumption: This project investigates whether self-construal at both the individual and societal level influences impulsive consumption. Data across several studies show that manipulated self-construal (individual level) influences attitudes toward performing impulsive behaviors (e.g., drinking beer) and that this relation is mediated by state impulsiveness. Other data at the country level show that societal level self-construal (measured as individualism-collectivism) is related to per capita beer consumption, both across cultures and within cultures (e.g., the U.S.). We are also conducting follow-up studies that look at the relation between self-construal and self-regulatory resources, the implications of the relation between self-construal and impulsive consumption for advertising effects, and the development of a shortened version of a self-construal scale. [with Yinlong (Allen) Zhang, UTSA; Jaehoon Lee, UTSA; Ashley Arsena, UTSA; and Miguel Hernandez, UTSA]

(7) Investigating the relation between culture and socially desirable responding: This project investigates whether cultural constructs (e.g., individualism--collectivism) are related to socially desirable responding. Previous research has shown that both individualists and collectivists engage in socially desirable responding, but in different ways. Individualists tend to engage in self-deceptive enhancement but not impression management, whereas collectivists tend to engage in impression management but not self-deceptive enhancement. Data across several studies show that regulatory focus mediates this process. Specifically, a promotion focus mediates the individualism--self deceptive enhancement relation and a prevention focus mediates the collectivism--impression management relation, and that public and private self-consciousness moderates, respectively, each of these mediated effects. Related studies investigate the relation between gender and socially desirable responding [with Ashok Lalwani, UTSA; Chi-Yue Chiu, University of Illinois and Nanyang Technological University; and Sharon Shavitt, University of Illinois]

(8) Investigating the processes underlying the planning fallacy: This project attempts to understand why the planning fallacy (the systematic tendency to underestimate project completion times) is so pervasive. [with Jongwon Park, Korea University Business School; and Jaehoon Lee, UTSA]

(9) Investigating the relation between television viewing and materialism: We have conducted several studies whose results suggest that amount of television viewing is positively correlated with degree of materialism due to frequent portrayals of materialism in television programs. However, this main effect appears to be qualified by interactions with process variables (e.g., attention, elaboration) that occur during viewing (as opposed to variables operating at the time the judgments of materialism are measured). The project focuses on the implications of these findings for the development of cognitive process models to explain cultivation effects (effect of television viewing on social reality construction). We are currently conducting lab experiments to determine the nature of these effects and their underlying processes. [with Jim Burroughs, University of Virginia; Aric Rindfleisch, University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Jaehoon Lee, UTSA]

(10) Investigating the impact of social goals on service experiences: This project examines the effects of personalized service experiences as a function of consumers’ social goals. [with Fang Wan of the University of Manitoba]

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition


Journal Articles:

  • Briley, D. A., Shrum, L. J., & Wyer, R. S. (2007). Subjective impressions of minority model frequencies in the media: A comparison of majority and minority viewers’ judgments and underlying processes. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17(1), 36-48.
  • Lalwani, A. K., Shrum, L. J., & Chiu, C. (2009). Motivated response styles: The role of cultural values, regulatory focus, and self-consciousness in socially desirable responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 870-882.
  • Lee, J., & Shrum, L. J. (in press). Conspicuous consumption versus charitable behavior in response to social exclusion: A differential needs explanation. Journal of Consumer Research.
  • Liu, Y., & Shrum, L. J. (2009). A dual-process model of interactivity effects. Journal of Advertising, 38(2), 53-68.
  • Lowrey, T. M., & Shrum, L. J. (2007). Phonetic symbolism and brand name preference. Journal of Consumer Research, 34, 406-414.
  • Lowrey, T. M., Shrum, L. J., & Dubitsky, T. (2003). The relation between brand name linguistic characteristics and brand name memory. Journal of Advertising, 32, 7-17.
  • Shrum, L. J. (2007). The implications of survey method for measuring cultivation effects. Human Communication Research, 33(1), 64-80.
  • Shrum, L. J., Lee, J., Burroughs, J. E., & Rindfleisch, A. (2011). An on-line process model of second-order cultivation effects: How television cultivates material values and its consequences for life satisfaction. Human Communication Research, 37, 34-57.
  • Wong, N., Shrum, L. J., Arif, F., Chugani, S., Gunz, A., Lowrey, T. M., Nairn, A., Pandelaere, M., Ross, S. M., Ruvio, A., Scott, K., & Sundie, J. (in press). Reconceptualizing materialism: Functions, processes, and consequences. Journal of Business Research.
  • Zhang, Y., & Shrum, L. J. (2009). The influence of self-construal on impulsive consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 35, 838-850.

Other Publications:

  • McCarty, J. A., Shrum, L. J., & Lowrey, T. M. (2010). Environmental consumer behavior. In J. Sheth, & N. K. Malhotra (Eds.), Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing (pp. 147-149). West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • McCarty, J. A., Shrum, L. J., & Lowrey, T. M. (2010). Psychographics. In J. Mansvelt (Ed.), Green consumerism: An A-to-Z guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Shrum, L. J. (2009). Television viewing and social reality: Effects and underlying processes. In M. Wänke (Ed.), Social psychology of consumer behavior (pp. 251-272). New York: Psychology Press.
  • Shrum, L. J., & Lee, J. (in press). Multiple processes underlying cultivation effects: How cultivation works depends on the types of beliefs being cultivated. In M. Morgan, J. Shanahan, & N. Signorielli (Eds.), The cultivation differential: State of the art research in cultivation theory. New York: Peter Lang Publishers.
  • Shrum, L. J., & Lee, J. (in press). Television’s persuasive narratives: How television influences values, attitudes, and beliefs. In L. J. Shrum (Ed.), The psychology of entertainment media: Blurring the lines between entertainment and persuasion (2nd ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis.
  • Shrum, L. J., Liu, M., Nespoli, M., & Lowrey, T. M. (in press). Persuasion and marketing. In J. Dillard, & L. Shen (Eds.), The persuasion handbook. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Shrum, L. J., Lowrey, T. M., & Liu, Y. (2009). Current issues in advertising research. In M. B. Oliver & R. Nabi (Eds.), Handbook of Media Effects (pp. 299-312). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Shrum, L. J. (2009). Media consumption and perceptions of social reality: Effects and underlying processes. In J. Bryant, & M. B. Oliver (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (3rd ed.) (pp. 50-73). New York: Psychology Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Advertising Management
  • Advertising Research
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Consumer Judgment and Decision Making
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Management
  • Marketing Research
  • Marketing Strategy and Decision Making
  • Principles of Advertising
  • Seminar in Experimental Design

L. J. Shrum
Department of Marketing
University of Texas at San Antonio
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas 78249-0632
United States

  • Work: (210) 458-5374
  • Home: (210) 545-6386
  • Fax: (210) 458-6335
  • Skype Name: ljshrum

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