The Effect of Descriptive Norms and Construal Level on Consumers' Sustainable Behaviors

Yuhosua Ryoo, Na Kyong Hyun, Yongjun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


With the assumption that the distinctive effect of provincial norms (versus general norms) derives from a spatial distance between the actors and reference groups, the present research examined whether the effect of two types of descriptive norms on consumers' sustainable behaviors can be moderated by construal-level messages. Both a laboratory (Study 1) and field experiment (Study 2) demonstrated that provincial norms (versus general norms) are more effective in encouraging consumers to participate in a sustainability campaign when paired with low-construal-level messages; but provincial norms are no longer superior to general norms when both norms are presented with high-construal-level messages. The findings collectively indicated that the congruence between types of descriptive norms and construal level messages leads to consumers' attitudinal and behavioral changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-549
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017, American Academy of Advertising.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effect of Descriptive Norms and Construal Level on Consumers' Sustainable Behaviors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this