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Families and Innovative Consumer Behavior: A Triadic Analysis of Sibling and Parental

Influence
Author(s): June Cotte and Stacy L. Wood
Source: The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jun., 2004), pp. 78-86
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3692648
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Families and Innovative Consumer Behavior:
A Triadic Analysis of Sibling and Parental
Influence

JUNE COTTE
STACYL. WOOD*

Althoughfamilysocializationis a richfield in consumer behavior,to date no re-


search has been done to disaggregatefamilyinfluenceson behaviorintoseparate
parent and sibling components. Here we use triadicanalysis (parentand two
siblings)to explorethe influenceof familyon consumerinnovativeness.We develop
hypotheses that postulate parentalinfluence,and, based on conflictingviews of
siblingsimilarityin the recent behavioralgenetics and developmentalpsychology
literature,set competinghypotheses aboutsiblinginfluenceon innovativenessand
innovativebehavior.Using a model tested withtriadsfrom 137 families,we find
that bothparentsand siblingsinfluenceinnovativeness,butthatparentalinfluence
is strongerthan siblinginfluence.We discuss the implicationsof our workforthe
study of familyinfluencein consumer behavior.

A familyexertsa complexinfluenceon thebehaviorsof


its members.Priorfamilyinfluenceresearchhasfocused
on intergenerational ratherthanintragenerational influencein
marketersare clearly very interestedin what makesconsum-
ers likely to try somethingnew. We suggestthatfamilyinflu-
ence may be one importantindicatorof adoptionprobability.
consumer socialization.As has been compellingly demon- In this researchwe develop and empiricallytest a model
strated,parentsinfluencechildren(Moore, Wilkie, and Lutz of family influence on innovativeness. Thus, our contribu-
2002; Moschis 1987). Yet,consumptiondomainsclearlyexist tion is twofold. First, we seek to add to currentknowledge
where sibling influence may also be exerted. The natureof on consumerresponse to new productinnovationsby dem-
this influence,however,is a matterof some debate.A con- onstratingboth intergenerationaland intragenerationalfam-
siderationof recent researchin behavioralgenetics and de- ily influence. Second, we build on the extant family influ-
velopmentalpsychology leads to two conflictingpicturesof ence literatureby providingan example of a domain where
sibling effects. In this research,we test these effects in one it is theoretically useful to consider jointly the impact of
consumptiondomain,consumerinnovativeness,that has the both sibling and parentalinfluence.
potentialfor both parentaland sibling influence. This articleuses triadicanalysis (parentand two siblings)
Consumersare increasinglyfaced with new productsand to explore the influence of family on consumerinnovative-
new channels of purchase.Much researchin the consumer ness. Family socialization influences are usually conceptu-
literature explores the mechanisms by which consumers alized and tested as a dyadic (husband-wifeor parent-child)
change or respondto innovations,both at macro-or market- phenomenon.Ourresearchis, to the best of our knowledge,
level perspectives (Rogers 1995) and micro- or consumer- the first to simultaneouslystudy two main components of
level perspectives (e.g., Moreau, Lehmann, and Markman family influence:the influence due to parentsand the influ-
2001; Wood and Lynch 2002). Given the level of resources ence due to a sibling. Thus, our study answers Roedder
necessary for new product development and introduction, John's (1999) call for research that disaggregates overall
family influence; it continues in the intergenerational,or
*June Cotte is assistantprofessor of marketing,Ivey Business School, parent-child,influence literaturestream (e.g., Moore et al.
University of WesternOntario,London, ON, Canada,N6A 3K7 (jcotte@ 2002) and extends to consider simultaneous intragenera-
ivey.ca). Stacy L. Wood is assistantprofessorof marketing,Moore School tional, or sibling, influences on consumerbehavior.
of Business, Universityof South Carolina,Columbia,SC 29208 (wood@
moore.sc.edu).Theauthorsthank the editors and three reviewers for their FAMILY INFLUENCES ON
comments,andthankTerryShimp,NirajDawar,RobertFisher,Don Barclay,
Jim Gentry,and Ratti Ratneshwarfor their feedbackon earlierversions of INNOVATIVENESS
this article. They also gratefully acknowledge researchfunding from the Our conceptual model argues that both parentsand sib-
Universityof South CarolinaOffice of SponsoredProgramsand Research.
lings can influence a person's innovativeness and that in-
78

C 2004 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc. 0 Vol. 31 0 June 2004


All rights reserved. 0093-5301/2004/3101-0007$10.00
A TRIADICANALYSISOF FAMILY
INFLUENCE 79

novativeness will lead to trial of more innovative products reliance on mass media, and price sensitivity (Childersand
and services. In building our hypotheses, we consider cur- Rao 1992; Moschis 1987; Ward 1974). The underlying
rent research on consumer-orientedperspectives of inno- theme of traditionalfamily socializationresearchis parents
vation adoption,parentalinfluence, and sibling influence. transmitvalues and attitudesas well as purchasinghabits,
brandpreferences,and so on to children.This socialization
Innovativenessand InnovativeBehavior approachassumes that childrenlearn throughmodeling and
other social learningtenets (Moschis 1987). Thatis, children
As we are interestedin testing both intragenerationaland learn consumer behaviors because their parents directly
intergenerationalinfluences simultaneously,it is necessary teach them and/or because they learn vicariously through
to study a domain in which it is possible that both inter- observation of their parents'behaviors.A relatedapproach
and intragenerationalinfluence occurs. One such domain is examines generalparentingstyle and its purportedinfluence
consumer innovativeness,the tendency to want to embrace on child behavior (e.g., Carlson and Grossbart1988).
change and try new behaviorsor products. Intergenerationalinfluenceresearchhas evolved fromthis
Consumer innovativeness, as a phenomenon or person- relatively straightforwardsocializationapproachto focus on
ality construct,has interestedresearchersfor some time (e.g., how the child's perception of the home affects his or her
Hirschman 1980; Manning, Bearden, and Madden 1995; attitudes (Moore-Shay and Berchmans 1996). This more
Midgely and Dowling 1978). Recent conceptualizationsem- recentintergenerationalinfluenceapproachto studyingfam-
phasize thatinnovativenesscomprisesdualdimensions,both ily influence, based on balance theory applied in a com-
cognitive and sensory (Venkatramanand Price 1990). From munications vein, suggests that increased communication
a sensory perspective, consumers might be innovative due within families leads to more learning (Moore-Shay and
to higherthanaverageoptimalstimulationlevel (OSL) pref- Lutz 1988) and incorporatesboth parent-to-childand child-
erences, regulated through variety-seeking behaviors to-parentflows of influence. We adopt the recent definition
(Menon andKahn 1995) or novel productsexploration(Raju offered by Moore and her colleagues that intergenerational
1980). Cognitively, innovativeness may reveal itself in in- influence is "the within family transmissionof information,
creased information gathering or product involvement beliefs, and resources from one generation to the next"
(Goldsmith 1983; Raju 1980). Although measures of in- (Moore et al. 2002, p. 17). A summaryof findings across
novativeness have not always been reliable indicators of intergenerationalstudies suggests that buying styles and
innovative behavior (Steenkamp and Baumgartner1992), skills are often shared intergenerationally.As Moore et al.
the prediction of innovative behavior is significantly im- (2002) review, research to date has shown that family in-
proved by the explicit considerationof both cognitive and fluences help children create their identities. Researchers
sensory dimensions (Wood and Swait 2002). contend that this influence occurs via both observational
Thus, following Wood and Swait (2002), we measurethe learning and communicationand that this intergenerational
underlying bases for innovativeness using two subscales: influencecontinuesto influenceadultchildren(Moore et al.
the need for cognition (Ncog) and the need for change (Nchg). 2002; Whitbeck and Gecas 1988).
The need for cognition has been defined as the tendency to Most, if not all of the research reviewed above argues
think or enjoy thinking per se (Cacioppo and Petty 1982) theoreticallythat it is the children's perceptionof theirpar-
and is a well-established and often used measure in fields ent that influences the child. This perception may or may
such as attitudeand persuasion.The need for change (Nchg) not be accurate, but the child's perception will influence
has been definedas the tendencyto value or embracechange them more than the trueconsumerbehaviorsof the parents.
for its own sake and is a measure developed from several So, althoughwe did collect direct measuresof the parent's
items of sensory-orientedinnovativeness (Price and Rid- (and sibling's) innovativeness, we believe it makes more
geway 1983; Raju 1980; Wood and Swait 2002; Zuckerman sense to use one's perceptions of one's parents and one's
1979). sibling. Given a significant body of evidence for parental
influence, we propose:
ParentalInfluence
HI: There will be an intergenerationalinfluence on
Extant consumer research on families focuses primarily innovativeness. The more innovative a parentis
on the dyad between a parent and one child. Researchers perceived to be by his or her son or daughter,the
have studied this family influence under the aegis of so- more innovative the son or daughterwill be.
cialization (e.g., Moschis 1987; Ward 1974) or, more re-
cently, as intergenerationalinfluence, originally conceived
of as a result of communication patterns and frequency Sibling Influence
within the family (Carlson and Grossbart1988). Both the
classic approachto family influence and more recent re- Siblings can be importantrole models for each other and
search trends offer insights into parent/siblinginfluence. in many cases could act as a relevant peer group for com-
The effect of the parentin the socialization of offspring parisonand modeling.Especially in adolescence,when peer
has been shown to affect many key consumer behaviors, comparisons are especially salient (Pechmann and Knight
including brandpreferenceand loyalty, informationsearch, 2002) siblings are likely to be a strong reference group.
80 JOURNALOF CONSUMERRESEARCH

Thus, in some domains, the siblings in the home may so- (Ross and Milgram 1982; Schachter and Stone 1987).
cialize each other more than the parentsdo (one may think Schachter and Stone's work on "sibling deidentification"
of music preferences,for example). In these instances, the finds that siblings define themselves as different and so do
influence can thus be thought of as intragenerational,and their parents. By the time their first two children have
siblings become an importantreference group influencing reached 6 years of age, mothers begin to see the children
behavior(Beardenand Etzel 1982). Thus, some readerswith as completely opposite in personalitiesand aptitudes,and
childrenmay note "my younger child copies everythingthe that opinion rarely changes over time (Schachterand Stone
older one does," and, hence, these readers may argue that 1987). These researchersalso find that siblings are about
sibling influence should be strong. twice as likely to reportbeing differentas they are to report
Indeed, Hoffman (1991) points out that siblings are in being alike (see also Graham-Bermann1991).
fact sometimes similar,showing that the average intraclass Thus, siblings themselves try to accentuatetheir differ-
correlationbetween siblings is usually greaterthanzero and ences (Ross and Milgram 1982; Schachterand Stone 1987).
in some domains (e.g., hobbies) is significant,althoughnot Festinger's social comparisontheory (Festinger 1954) was
strong. Researchers have demonstratedthat attitudes and used by Schachterand Stone (1987) to explain why siblings
interests show somewhat more similarity among siblings try to appear to be, and often are, so different from one
than more general personality measures (Hoffman 1991; another.That is, if siblings find the constant comparison
Loehlin, Willerman,and Horn 1988). with the other sibling painful,they will attemptto make the
However, many readers, if they have siblings, may be other sibling a nonrelevantcomparison.Ross and Milgram
mentally arguing "butI am nothing like my brother/sister." (1982) go further,claiming that sibling rivalry can be gen-
This observationis consonantwith recentwork outsidecon- erated both by the self, as outlined above, and by parental
sumer research,in both behavioralgenetics and family so- behavior, as when parentsassign roles or engage in favor-
cialization. Researchover the last 2 decades in these fields itism. Tesser's (1988) self-evaluation maintenancetheory
has documentedthat siblings are surprisinglydifferentfrom continues in this vein, contendingthat siblings will develop
one another(e.g., Hoffman 1991; Schacteret al. 1976). This their own niche areasof expertisethat createa uniquesense
stream of research argues that although there are genetic of identity.
reasons for siblings to be somewhat different,a purely ge- So we have a situationwhere, on the one hand, siblings
netic basis does not accountfor the degree of variationseen can and do act as a relevant peer group for each other and
within families on sibling personalitytypes, and sibling dif- may socialize each other to similar attitudesand behaviors.
ferences outweigh similaritiesfor most psychological traits On the other hand, although siblings share at least some
(Dunn and Plomin 1990; Plomin and Daniels 1987; Scarr genetically derived similarity and share some of the same
and Grajek 1982). Behavioralgeneticists state that the dif- family environment,they also experience this environment
ferences not due to heredityare environmental;thatis, fam- quite differently,and they may try to cultivate differences,
ilies create some of the differences we observe in siblings. particularlyas adolescents and adults. Family influences
Parents may create differences between their children not may work to differentiatesiblings, not make them similar.
Further,siblings themselves often attemptto maximize this
only because they pass on differentgenes but also because contrast.This leads to two competinghypothesesconcerning
they createdifferentenvironmentsfor each child in the fam- innovativeness:
ily (Harris 1995; Hoffman 1991; Scarr and Grajek 1982).
The most straightforwardexample of this different envi-
H2a: There will be a positive intragenerationalinflu-
ronment is birth order.A child born with an older sibling ence on innovativenessand innovative behavior.
faces a different environmentthan does a child born first, The more innovative a person perceives his or
with no older sibling. her sibling to be, the more innovative he or she
From the identificationof the factors that can create dif- will be.
ferences between siblings has blossomed the literatureon
"non-sharedenvironments"(Dunn and Plomin 1990; Gra- H2b: There will be a negative intragenerationalinflu-
ham-Bermann1991; Hoffman 1991). The simple yet pow- ence on innovativenessand innovative behavior.
erful reconceptualizationin this researchstreamis thatfam- The more innovative a person perceives his or
ily influencesoperatedifferentlyfor differentchildrenwithin her sibling to be, the less innovative he or she
the same family. Even when children experience the same will be.
objective family environmentor event (e.g., a motherlosing
her job), differences in age when the event occurs and ge- The naturalextensionof these hypothesesinvestigatesthe
netics (as well as other objective differences) lead children relative strengthof family influence.Will parentalinfluence
to subjectivelyexperience this environmentor event differ- or sibling influencehave a greaterimpact on a person's in-
ently (Hoffman 1991). Differentsubjectiveexperiencesmay novativeness?Because of the dual natureof innovativeness,
be exacerbatedby birthorderrank(Dunn andPlomin 1990). createdby both need for cognitionand need for change,both
Other researchershave explored how and why children parentaland sibling influenceis possible. First,parentsmay
and parentsappearto actively create,perhapsunconsciously, set the tone for, and perhaps influence at a genetic level,
different environmentswithin the family for each sibling appropriatelevels of involvementand cognitionrequiredfor
A TRIADICANALYSIS OF FAMILYINFLUENCE 81

FIGURE1

MODEL:FAMILY
CONCEPTUAL INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR
ON INNOVATIVE

Sibling's
Perceived
Innovativeness

Target's Target's
Innovativeness Innovative
Behavior

Parent's
Perceived
Innovativeness

consumptiondecisions. Parentsmay also act as models for potheses can be seen in figure 1. We now turnto a descrip-
theirchildrenby theirown information-seekinganddecision- tion of the data collection and triadic analysis used to test
makingbehaviors.Second, siblings may influencenorms of these hypotheses.
desired stimulationor expectationsof being on the cutting
edge. A sibling, as an age-appropriatereferencepoint, may DATA COLLECTION
demonstratea norm for the acceptanceor avoidanceof tra-
ditional, status quo products.However,as we have noted, a We recruitedundergraduatestudentsat a large state uni-
person may attemptto position his or her self-schemaaway versity to complete a survey and provide the name and
from that of a sibling in a process of deidentification.This mailing address of an adult sibling (over 18 years of age)
deidentificationis not likely with parents,because they are and a parent. The students completed their surveys in the
not a relevantcomparison-psychologically it may be more lab, and then we mailed the sibling and parentsurveys, with
importantfor a child to prove he or she is differentfrom a a prepaidphone cardincludedas an incentive.Fourhundred
sibling (Ross and Milgram1982; Schachterand Stone 1987; and eighty-six surveys were distributedand 469 (including
Tesser 1988). Therefore,because the potential for parental the surveys completed by the studentsin the lab) were re-
influence is relatively unconflicted,while the potential for turned, for an initial response rate of 96.5%. However, of
sibling influence is renderedambiguousby identity issues, the 469 returned,we could not use 30 surveys due to large
we propose that parentalinfluence will be strongeron an amounts of missing data. Due to the triadic nature of the
individual'sinnovativenessthan sibling influence.Thus: study, we could not use 28 of the original surveys because
they belonged to a family with nonreturnedor incomplete
H3: The influenceof a parent'sperceivedinnovativeness surveys. Thus, the final numberof returnedand usable sur-
and innovativebehavioron his or her adultchild's veys was 411, for a final response rate of 84.6%, and 137
innovativenesswill be greaterthanthe influenceof families with complete data from all three family members.
a sibling's perceived innovativenessand behavior
on the same adult child's behavior.That is, inter-
generationalinfluencewill be greaterthan intrage-
Survey Instrument
nerationalinfluenceon innovativeness. The survey instrumentconsisted of several distinctparts.
The first page containedscales to measurethe respondent's
Finally, it is importantto demonstratethatinnovativeness need for change and need for cognition.Next, we asked re-
is predictive of innovative behavior.It has been previously
spondentsto predictthe need for change and need for cog-
noted that past attemptsto predict productusage behavior nition of the other two family membersparticipatingin the
based on the measuredpersonalityconstructhave not always
study(an adultsiblinganda parent).This coorientation-based
been successful (Steenkampand Baumgartner1992). There- measurementmethodhas been used successfullyin consumer
fore, to validate the significance of intergenerationaland research(e.g., Moore-Shayand Berchmans1996). Although
intragenerationalinfluence within this domain, we hypoth- respondentswill likely make implicit comparisonsbetween
esize: themselvesandotherfamilymembers,researchon impression
H4: Innovativenesswill be positively associated with managementsuggests that this is not a problem when as-
trial of innovative products. sessing family agreement(Hunsley et al. 1996). The survey
then includedbehavioralmeasures("haveyou used .
..?")
The conceptual frameworkunderlyingour four key hy- for a variety of innovations,rangingfrom moderateto dis-
82 JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH

TABLE 1

SCALEITEMSAND RELIABILITIES

Scale items a

Need for cognition: Averagefor self ratingsis .73


Average for ratirigothers in triadis .80
I would ratherdo somethingthat requireslittlethoughtthan something
that is sure to challenge my thinkingabilities.
I tryto anticipateand avoid situationswhere there is a likelychance
I'llhave to thinkin depth about something.
I only thinkas hardas I have to.
The idea of relyingon thoughtto get my way to the top does not ap-
peal to me
The notionof thinkingabstractlyis not appealingto me
Need for change: Averagefor self ratingsis .65
Average for ratingothers in triadis .75
When I see a new or differentbrandon the shelf, I often pickit up
just to see what it is like.
I like introducingnew brandsand productsto my friends.
I enjoy takingchances in buyingunfamiliarbrandsjust to get some
varietyin my purchase.
I often read the informationon the packages of productsjust out of
curiosity.
I get boredwithbuyingthe same brandseven if they are good.
I shop arounda lot for my clothes just to findout more about the lat-
est styles.

continuousinnovationsin a varietyof price ranges.The sur- removing "wipes,"makinga purchaseover the Internet,and
vey ended with basic demographics(age, gender,numberof an antibacterial"waterless"hand cleaner.It was important
siblings, birthorder,and education).Some of the items and to use innovative behaviors that would not be materially
scales were adaptedfrom previousstudies,whereaswe con- affected by differences in parent and child incomes (e.g.,
structedseveral indices, as outlinedbelow. high definition television). Each innovation tried was as-
signed a one, and no trial was assigned a zero. We summed
the behaviorsto createan index. The productsvariedacross
Measures both degree of innovationand expense, rangingfrom whit-
Need for Cognition. The need for cognition is a well- ening toothpasteto cell phones (note that at the time of the
known measureof an individual's tendency to enjoy think- data collection, these products could still be considered
ing per se (Cacioppo and Petty 1982). We use a five-item innovations).
version of the Nc,,gscale (like in Wood and Swait 2002) that
showed adequatereliability (see table 1). DATA ANALYSIS
Need for Change. The need for change is the extent and ControlVariables
SampleCharacteristics
to which individualsvalue novelty and innovationand how
comfortable one is with change (Wood and Swait 2002). To differentiate the three members of the family triad
This six-item scale was originallycreateddrawingon items clearly, we will use "target"to refer to the undergraduate
from the Sensation-Seeking scale (Zuckerman 1979), the studentinitially contactedand "sibling"to referto the adult,
ExploratoryTendenciesin ConsumerBehavior scale (Raju recruitedsibling. Of the targetsresponding,39% were male,
1980), and the Use Innovativenessscale (Price and Ridge- and 61% were female. Of the siblings, 42% were male and
way 1983). This scale had somewhatlower reliabilitiesthan 58% were female. Twenty-twopercent of the parentswere
the Ncogscale (see table 1). fathers,and 78% were mothers.In termsof the siblingpairs,
37% were sisters, 16%were brothers,and 47% were mixed
Innovative Behavior Index. As is conventionalin the gender. In terms of the target and parent pairs, 49% (68
priorresearchon innovativebehavior(e.g., Foxall 1995; Im, families) were mothers and daughters, 12% (15 families)
Bayus, and Mason 2003) we use a measure of innovative were fathersand sons, and 39%were mixed gender.Of these
behavior operationalizedas the number of products used mixed gender pairs (54 families), 70% (38 families) were
from a list of innovative products.We assessed trial of new mothers and sons, and 30% (16 families) were fathers and
productsand distributionchannels with a yes/no "haveyou daughters.
used . . ." format for eight innovations:using the Internet The targets ranged from firstbornto seventh born, with
at home, a shower spray that cleans without scrubbing,cel- the modal answer, and the median, being the second born.
lular phone, whitening toothpaste,ginkgo/echinacea,stain- Thirty-twopercent were firstborn,46% were second born.
A TRIADICANALYSIS OF FAMILYINFLUENCE 83

TABLE 2 call that the survey asked each member of the family for
PATHCOEFFICIENTS
INTHESTRUCTURAL
these predictions/perceptionsabout the other two family
MODEL
members). The final indicatorfor these latent constructsis
each family member'sactualinnovativebehavior,measured
Path Coefficient
by their score on the innovative behavior index. Thus, the
Perceived innovativenessof sibling target's perceptionsof their parentand sibling are based on
- innovativenessof target .250 perceptionsabouttheirpersonalities,as well as observations
Perceivedinnovativenessof parent- of their behavior.Target'sinnovativenessis measuredwith
innovativenessof target .408 two indicators,need for change and need for cognition, and
Birthorder - innovativenessof target .169
Innovativenessof target - target in-
target's innovative behavior is the target's score on the in-
novativetrialbehavior .213 novative behaviorindex. The covariatebirthorderis a mea-
R2 (Innovativenessof target) .286 sured variable.
R2 (Targetinnovativetrialbehavior) .045
NOTE.-Allstandardizedpathcoefficientsare significantat p<.05. RESULTS
The average number of children in the family was three, On a possible zero to eight scale, the minimumscore on
with a standarddeviationof 1.34 (minimumtwo, maximum the innovative behavior index across all groups (targets,
12). The averageage of the targetwas 21, while the average siblings, parents)was one (only tried one innovation) and
the maximum score was eight. There was a significantdif-
age of the sibling respondingwas 23. This age difference
is significant (p < .0001). Over all the families (regardless ference between the number of innovations the target had
of who is older), the mean age difference between the sib- tried (M = 4.7, SD = 1.61) and how many the sibling had
tried (M = 4.3, SD = 1.46, p = .04) and between the tar-
lings is 4 years. When we use the 82 families where the
sibling respondentis older (60% of the families) the mean get and the parent (M = 4.3, SD = 1.57, p = .03). The
age difference is 5 years. In the analysis that follows, the sibling and the parentare not significantlydifferenton their
trial of innovative products(p = .961). The targetexhibits
age of the target, as well as the age difference between the
more innovative behavior than either the sibling or the
target and the sibling, were both used as control variables;
neither was significant, and both variables were dropped parent.
from furtherconsideration.As with age, the numberof chil- All of the paths in our main structuralmodel are signif-
drenin the family was also addedto the analysis as a control icant (see table 2). However,in the measurementmodel, the
variable;it was not significant, and was droppedfrom the weights from the Nchg indicatorsto each latent constructare
not significant(recall its low reliability).
analysis for parsimony.
In keeping with the family socialization literature,we Our model explains the innovativenessof the targetfairly
recognize that birth order is likely to play a part in family well, with about 29% of the variancein innovativenessex-
influence (Sulloway 1996). Firstborn children are more plainedby intergenerationaland intragenerational influences
and birthorder.We note that birthorder,which we included
likely to be conformists and are more likely to echo their
as a covariate,did have a significantimpact on innovative-
parents' values, while later born children are likely to be
unconventionaland innovative (Sulloway 1996). The pres- ness. The later one is born (and in our sample this tends to
ence of an olderchild could give youngerchildrena baseline mean being second born vs. firstborn)the more innovative
behavior to "rebel"against, in part due to sibling deiden- one tends to be, consonant with some family socialization
tification.Birth orderis a significantcovariatethat we con- research(Sulloway 1996).
trol for in our model, as it reduces the error variance by Supportinghypothesis 1, the data shows a significantin-
fluence of the parent's perceived innovativeness and be-
helping explain part of the variationin the dependentvar-
iable of innovativeness. havior on the target's innovativeness (see table 2). The in-
fluence of the sibling's perceived innovativeness on the
target's innovativenessis also positive and significant,sup-
Analysis Approach portinghypothesis 2a and not supportingthe competinghy-
Our structuralmodel is depictedas our conceptualmodel pothesis 2b. The target's perceptionsof the parent,the sib-
(fig. 1), with birth orderincluded as a covariate.'The mea- ling, and the target'sbirthordertogetheraccountfor 28.6%
surement model consists of formative indicators for each of the total variance in target innovativeness.
constructas follows: both sibling's perceivedinnovativeness To test hypothesis3, we must assess the relativeinfluence
and parent'sperceived innovativenesshave three indicators of each variableto the target's innovativeness.Continuing
each. The first two indicators are the target's perceptions to include birth order as a covariate, we can compareeach
about each family member's need for cognition and their of the exogenous variables'importance(sibling's influence,
perceptionsaboutthe family member'sneed for change (re- parent's influence, and birth order) by squaringeach path
coefficient and dividing by the sum of all of the squared
'This structuralequations model is fit via partial least squares rather pathcoefficients (25.8%vs. the totalR2Of28.6%)to roughly
than Lisrel due to our relatively small sample size (Hulland 1998; Wold assess what each variable contributesto the variance ex-
1982). plained by all three. This procedureeliminatesany variance
84 JOURNALOF CONSUMERRESEARCH

attributedto multicollinearity,which is not a seriousproblem Swait 2002) effective. It provided a moderatelevel of con-
in our data. This analysis shows that the parentis far more ceptual complexity, considering both sensory and infor-
of an influence on the targetthan is the sibling, supporting mation-processing elements of innovativeness, that has
hypothesis 3. The parent's influence explains 65% of the proved empiricallyviable in predictinginnovativebehavior
variance,sibling influenceaccountsfor 24% of the variance, (Wood and Swait 2002) as many more broad conceptuali-
and birth order accounts for only 11% of the variance ex- zations have not (see Steenkampand Baumgartner[1992]
plained by the three exogenous variablestogether. for a thoroughdiscussion). However, this is not to suggest
Our data also supporthypothesis 4, which states that in- that a more broadly conceived pictureof innovativenessis
novativeness will lead to innovativebehavior.However,the not worthwhile. Different analytical methods will be re-
R2 for this relationshipis a modest 4.5%. That is, ultimate quired to elucidate socialization effects given a broad con-
behavioris explainedless well by our model. However,this ceptualizationof innovativeness.It is our hope thatthe find-
effect, althoughmodest,is still demonstratedat a meaningful ings here encourage future researchers to seek out and
level. As has been noted, stronginnovativebehavioreffects engage in these methods.
have been difficultto capturethroughpersonalityconstructs A second opportunitylies in more fully explainingsibling
(Steenkampand Baumgartner1992). deidentificationas a potential moderatorof influence. We
present hypothesis 2 as competing alternatives.In motivat-
DISCUSSION ing hypothesis 2b, we suggested that siblings may actively
try to be different from one another and thus negatively
As RoedderJohn (1999) points out, importantgaps exist influencethe other's behavior.Ourresults did not show this.
in our understandingof family and social environmentin- Yet the possibility exists that sibling deidentificationaffects
fluence in consumer socialization.Our researchattemptsto the relative strengthof sibling versus parentalinfluence(hy-
fill some of these gaps by disaggregatingthe concept of pothesis 3). Similarly, if sibling deidentificationdoes not
family influenceinto two constituentparts,parentaland sib- exist in a family triad,then parentinfluencemay operatein
ling influences, and examining these in the context of in- two ways: (1) directlyfrom parentto child and (2) indirectly
novative consumer behavior. through the parent's influence on a sibling. However, be-
We find that innovative behavior is influenced both in- cause we did not measuresibling deidentification,we cannot
tergenerationallyand intragenerationally,but that intergen- speak conclusively to this issue. There is some evidence in
erational influences are dominant. In particular,we show our data that dispels indirect parentalinfluence in that the
that adult children's perceptions of their parent's innova- combinedinfluenceof the sibling, which would include any
tiveness influencetheirown innovativeness.We should note indirect parentalinfluence, is not greaterthan the parent's
that our conclusions run counter to a controversialtheory influence alone. Notwithstandingthis, one goal of future
of family socializationin psychology (Harris1995). Harris's researchshould be to partialout the (potentiallyinteractive)
contention is that children are different because they have influence of sibling/parentsocialization, perhapsby inves-
differentpeer groups and experiencesoutside the home and tigating family triads with differing levels of measuredsib-
family, which make them different. Parents have a small ling deidentification.
genetic influence(creatingsimilaritiesbetweensiblings),but Finally, consumer socialization research would benefit
parental style and socialization make no difference in the from furtherstudyon factorsthatmoderatesibling influence.
behavior of the individual as an adult. In essence, Harris We can imagine two categories that may describepotential
argues that if children remained in their neighborhoods, moderators, family characteristics and individual traits.
schools, and teams (i.e., in all theirpeer grouprelationships) Family characteristicsmay include such variables as level
they woulddevelopinto the samepeopleeven if all theparents of family closeness, conflict, economic status, number of
were randomlyswitched. We presentdata in this study that children in the household at a given time, and parents'ex-
runcontraryto this theory,demonstratinga strongandunique plicit use of siblings as points of comparisonor judgment.
association between children's perceptionof their parents' Individualtraits may include the child's learning style, in-
innovativenessand the children'sinnovativeness. dependence, competitiveness, and self-efficacy beliefs.
One limitation of this researchis our necessary reliance These variables, both family and individual based, offer
on a moderatelynarrowconceptualizationof innovativeness. many fruitful avenues for futureresearch.
In the long history of scale developmentand otherattempts
to capture innovativeness, several researchershave advo- [Dawn lacobucci served as editorfor this article.]
cated a more focused or specialized perspective (such as
Raju's [1980] focus on exploratory behaviors). However,
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