The impact of death-related media information on consumer value orientation and scope sensitivity

Zhongqiang Tak Huang, Xun Irene Huang, Yuwei Jiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This research examines how incidental exposure to death-related information in the media affects consumers' value orientation and scope sensitivity to marketing stimuli. Five studies demonstrate that, in contrast to thoughts about one's own mortality, exposure to death-related information in the media can shift consumers' focus from extrinsic to intrinsic values. This leads them to pay less attention to the marketing stimuli, which are generally associated with extrinsic values, and consequently results in lower sensitivity to the magnitude of products and services. These effects are reversed when the marketing stimuli are associated with intrinsic values. Moreover, we found that exposure to death-related media information will generate effects similar to those of mortality salience when the information is perceived to be self-relevant and thus could induce death anxiety. The authors discuss implications and possible extensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-445
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Death awareness
  • Death-related media information
  • Scope sensitivity
  • Self-relevance
  • Value orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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