Does signing your name make you change your behavior?

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While consumers are often required to provide a signature, the question of whether, and how, signing their name might influence their subsequent behavior has not been investigated to date. In this article, we propose that signing one’s name acts as a general self-identity prime that enables situational affordances to activate the relevant aspect of one’s self-identity, which in turn leads to behavior that is congruent with that aspect. Evidence from four studies demonstrates this phenomenon in consumption-related domains. Merely signing their name – as opposed to printing it – in an ostensibly unrelated task leads consumers to become more (less) engaged when shopping in a product domain they (do not) closely identify with (studies 1 and 2), to identify more (less) closely with in(out)-groups (study 3), and to conform more closely with (diverge more strongly from) in(out)-groups when making consumption choices in preference domains that are relevant to signaling one’s identity (study 4).

Source: “The Signature Effect: How Signing One’s Name Influences Consumption-Related Behavior” from Journal of Consumer Research

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