Developing Strengths or Remedying Weaknesses? How Perceived Social Mobility Affects Parents' Purchase Preferences for Children's Educational Products

QH Chen, YJ Wang, Y Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

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Abstract

Does parents’ status motivation affect their educational product choices for their children? Across seven studies, the authors find that when parents believe that society provides enough opportunities for individuals to achieve higher social status through hard work (i.e., high social mobility), they prioritize the status advancement goal and prefer products that help maximize a child's strengths. However, when parents believe that even if one works hard, the opportunity to climb up the social ladder is limited (i.e., low social mobility), they focus on maintaining their current status and prefer products that help remedy a child's weaknesses. Moreover, the research demonstrates that this effect diminishes when the strength and weakness are in the domains that have low relevance to status. Finally, the research shows that when parents believe that children with specialties are more likely to succeed, they prefer products for maximizing strengths, whereas when they believe that well-rounded children are more likely to succeed, they prefer products for remedying weaknesses, regardless of their perception of social mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2024

Keywords

  • Children's educational products
  • Maximizing strengths
  • Perceived social mobility
  • Remedying weaknesses
  • Status advancement
  • Status maintenance

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A*
  • FT
  • SSCI

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