The Influence of Social Crowding on Consumer Creativity

  •  Luqiong Tong    
  •  Jing Li    


The importance of consumer creativity is currently widely recognized, yet the examination of the influence of environmental elements on consumer creativity is still limited. Our research investigates the influence of social crowding on consumer creativity performance. While past research mainly focuses on extreme crowding conditions, our research examines the impact of a moderate level of social crowding, which is more commonly experienced in reality. From two lab experiments, our research shows that compared to consumers in crowded environments, consumers in uncrowded environments perform better on creativity tasks (e.g., designing promotion slogans and identifying solutions to problems). Furthermore, the effect of social crowding is mediated by approach motives. Consumers in an uncrowded (vs. crowded) environment are more likely to trigger approach-based motivation, which enhances their creativity performance. These findings extend our knowledge of social crowding and creativity and can help consumers and companies improve creativity performance in appropriate environments.

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