Does insincere flattery work?


This research uses a dual attitudes perspective to offer new insights into flattery and its consequences. The authors show that even when flattery by marketing agents is accompanied by an obvious ulterior motive that leads targets to discount the proffered compliments, the initial favorable reaction (the implicit attitude) continues to coexist with the discounted evaluation (the explicit attitude). Furthermore, the implicit attitude has more influential consequences than the explicit attitude, highlighting the possible subtle impact of flattery even when a person has consciously corrected for it. The authors also clarify the underlying process by showing how and why the discrepancy between the implicit and explicit attitudes induced by flattery may be reduced. Collectively, the findings from this investigation provide implications for both flattery research and the dual attitudes literature.

Source: “Insincere Flattery Actually Works: A Dual Attitudes Perspective” from Journal of Marketing Research

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