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Spinning: Zooming in an Atypical Consumer Behavior

Abstract : The present article introduces the concept of consumer spinning. This occurs when consumers have lost track of their initial motivation to consume and engage unwittingly in hamster-like spinning in a “wheel of misfortune”, being encouraged to spend through sweetheart deals and thus incur debt without even realizing it. This article takes for example the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 (GFC) during which the use of such sweeteners by sellers of predatory mortgages and advocates for lax regulations led U.S. consumers to spin and, in the process, ignore the debt trap they were falling into. We discuss the results of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment we conducted to test the ratio of greed over risk aversion and the hypothesized phenomenon of spinning. We believe that this is the first academic attempt to examine spinning resorting to an experimental tool used regularly in neuroscience and psychology research. Our framework indicates that government regulators should take the role of marketing sweeteners into account when devising policies. Marketing managers, who strive to educate consumers and help them reduce their debt load, thus promoting better purchasing power, stand to benefit from an understanding of these possible spinning behaviors and adapt their campaigns accordingly. We believe that there should be legal consequences for encouraging consumer spinning, as this at times may be an intentional and deceitful invitation for consumers to harm themselves financially.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 10:39:59 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 11:30:05 AM




Olivier Mesly. Spinning: Zooming in an Atypical Consumer Behavior. Journal of Macromarketing, SAGE Publications (UK and US), 2020, pp.027614672093190. ⟨10.1177/0276146720931909⟩. ⟨hal-02973649⟩



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