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Journal cover: European Journal of Marketing

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Marketing

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The effect of personality on response to sexual appeals


Document Information:
Title:The effect of personality on response to sexual appeals
Author(s):Iain R. Black, (Discipline of Marketing, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia), George C. Organ, (Oddfellows Pty Ltd, North Sydney, Australia), Peta Morton, (Singleton Ogilvy Mather Ltd, Sydney, Australia)
Citation:Iain R. Black, George C. Organ, Peta Morton, (2010) "The effect of personality on response to sexual appeals", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 Iss: 9/10, pp.1453 - 1477
Keywords:Advertising effectiveness, Advertising research, Experimental design, Individual behaviour, Personality, Sex
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/03090561011062925 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – This paper aims to examine the role of personality in how people respond to sexual appeals in advertising. The impact of three traits (extraversion, neuroticism and openness) was tested.

Design/methodology/approach – A mixed-factor experimental design was used. Gender, level of sexual appeal (manipulated over two levels) and participants' standing on each of the three personality trait scales were the between-subjects factors. Relevance of the product to the appeal, which was also manipulated over two levels, was the within-subjects factor. The sample comprised 156 undergraduate students, and each student was randomly assigned to either a mild appeals or an overt appeals condition.

Findings – The results show that levels of extraversion and openness directly affect responses to advertisements as measured with attitude towards the advertisement.

Research limitations/implications – Recommendations are made, including that overt sexual appeals should not be used on a target audience of “introverts”, or people who are characterised as quiet, shy and reserved.

Originality/value – This research extends existing work on the effect of individual differences on consumers' reactions to advertising and is the first to show that personality traits affect responses to sexual appeals.



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