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The self-creation effect: making a product supports its mindful consumption and the consumer’s well-being


Popular cultural movements such as Slow Food and the Maker Movement emphasize product self-creation―personally creating products, then consuming them, as a core value. We present the first research to examine how product self-creation affects the individual’s consumption experience of such products and their well-being. Seven field and lab studies provide evidence that when consumers self-create a product, they appreciate it to a greater degree, are likely to consume it more mindfully, and experience greater domain-specific and general well-being. The individual’s private self-consciousness strengthens the effect. Self-creating products offers consumers with a practical, versatile, and personal interest-driven way to transcend their traditional role, to consume more consciously and sustainably, while concurrently enhancing the enjoyment of their consumption experience.

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The first author would like to thank the Swiss National Science Foundation and EDHEC Business School and the second author would like to thank the JGSB for the financial support in conducting this research. Both authors would like to thank Ellen Schwartz of Chef Ellen Cooking Classes for her help with study 1, and Hellofresh for its collaboration in study 2.

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Correspondence to Johanna Brunneder.

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Brunneder, J., Dholakia, U. The self-creation effect: making a product supports its mindful consumption and the consumer’s well-being. Mark Lett 29, 377–389 (2018).

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  • Product self-creation
  • Mindfulness
  • Mindful consumption
  • Consumer well-being
  • Consciousness