The vulnerability of defensiveness : The impact of persuasion attempts and processing motivations on trust

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

18 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


  • Wenxia Guo
  • Kelley J. Main

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-971
Journal / PublicationMarketing Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


People are generally defense motivated during interactions with salesclerks. In this research, we demonstrate that defense motivation can make consumers vulnerable to a less stereotypical persuasion attempt as compared to a more stereotypical one. The consequence is that consumers are willing to pay a higher price and exhibit greater trust in a salesclerk who uses a less stereotypical persuasion attempt. Thus, the stereotypicality of a persuasion attempt is identified as one key factor that impacts perceptions of trustworthiness. In addition, we show that accuracy motivations can attenuate the positive effect of a less stereotypical persuasion attempt. In other words, accuracy motivations can protect consumers from being susceptible to less stereotypical persuasion attempts. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Research Area(s)

  • Persuasion knowledge model, Processing motivation, Retailing, Trust, Vulnerability