Self-extension to vehicles as a functionof gas prices

The following abstract summarizes a class research project for PSY341 in the Spring semester of 2006.


The current study investigated strength of vehicularself-extension under differing economic pressures due to changing gasprices. Four-hundred four participants first chose one of sevenvehicle categories to best represent their values, lifestyle, andpersonality, and then indicated strength of vehicleself-representation. A scenario described vehicle usage and mpg, andparticipants reported likelihood of trading their vehicle for onegetting the same, better, or worse mileage, depending uponincreasing, decreasing, or stable gas prices. Gas pricessignificantly influenced likelihood to trade for vehicles gettingbetter or worse mileage, but there was no effect for vehiclecategory. Gas prices also interacted with strength ofrepresentation, so there was greater likelihood to trade when thevehicle did not well represent the participant.