Contribution Statement Instructions

Every new submission must include a contribution statement (maximum of 350 words). The purpose of the contribution statement is for you to provide a clear and concise understanding of the primary contribution provided by your manuscript. The statement should:

1) clearly articulate the ways in which the research provides insight to a consumer-relevant question;
2) situate your research within the existing knowledge on the topic; and
3) explain what the research adds to what is already known about the consumer-relevant problem

Your contribution statement will be shared with the editor, associate editor, and reviewers during the review process to help the review team to understand the intended contribution. Contribution statements will not appear in published articles.


Why initiate a policy asking for contribution statements? Our goal is to keep the review team and the authors focused on the same vision for the paper. We believe that the review team can better help authors improve papers if the team understands the specific contribution the authors desire to make. We hope this will allow all parties to be more efficient and also that it will minimize actual or perceived instances of "hijacking" papers where review team members ask for changes that are not in keeping with the authors' intended research goals.

Isn't this just an added burden on authors? We hope not. Contribution statements should not take much effort to create. The ideas behind your statement should already be found in your abstract and introduction. We simply ask that you extract and distil these key ideas to share with the review team.

If the ideas for a contribution statement are already in the abstract, should I just use my abstract then? No. The purpose of the contribution statement is to summarize the new contribution this manuscript makes to knowledge beyond the existing literature (in fewer than 350 words). It should not merely replicate the information in the abstract. Contribution statements and abstracts are intended for different audiences. Contribution statements can be written for "insiders," that is, members of the review team whose scholarly outlook and expertise will be relatively similar to those of the author(s) and who will be largely familiar with the research base to which a paper seeks to contribute. Abstracts should be written for a wider audience, and crafted in such a way that a wide variety of readers are drawn in; good abstracts allow a paper to "Open Wide." Authors may choose not to use an abstract solely to situate their work in the literature. Some authors may also choose to use space in their abstracts to provide more operational detail than we are requesting in the contribution statements (results, methods, approach). Overall, while we hope that thinking about a paper's contribution will help authors create better abstracts with wider impact, we see enough of a potential distinction to believe a separate statement will add value.

Is it ok if my contribution statement makes it clear who the authors are? No, contribution statements should be blind.

Should my contribution statement be written for a general audience? This is not necessary. The statement is part of a conversation with your review team (reviewers and editors) and as such may be relatively sophisticated or contain technical terms common to your subfield. Of course, clarity is always a good thing and plain language often increases clarity.

Does my contribution statement have to change with a revision? No, the intended contribution of a piece of work may very well stay constant during the review process. If so, it is fine to keep your contribution statement the same. If the process of revision causes you to modify or refine your intended contribution, then it is fine to change it accordingly. However, please note that contribution statements are entirely optional for revisions.

Sample Contribution Statements

Consumer Perceptions of Iconicity and Indexicality and Their Influence
on Assessments of Authentic Market Offerings

Kent Grayson and Radan Martinec

Although consumer demand for authentic market offerings has often been mentioned in consumer research , the meaning of the term "authentic" has not been sufficiently specified. Thus, some important differences among authentic market offerings have not been recognized or examined. This article uses Peirce's semiotic framework to distinguish between two kinds of authenticity-indexical and iconic. We identify the cues that lead to the assessments of each kind and, based on data collected at two tourist attractions, we show that these cues can have a different influence on the benefits of consuming authenticity. Our results also contribute to an understanding of the negotiation of reality and fantasy as part of consumption.

The Dynamic Impact of Variety among Means on Motivation
Jordan Etkin and Rebecca K. Ratner

Previous research has demonstrated that consumers' intrapersonal and interpersonal motives affect their preferences for variety (Kahn and Ratner 2005). The present work is designed to be the first to consider the reverse direction of causality: that variety impacts motivation toward goal pursuit. This research introduces the idea that the perceived degree of variety among means toward goal attainment impacts motivation toward pursuing the goal, and that the relationship between variety and motivation changes over the course of goal pursuit as progress is made towards goal attainment. The present findings demonstrate that whereas high perceived variety among means toward goal attainment increases motivation when perceived goal progress is low, low perceived variety among means toward goal attainment increases motivation when perceived goal progress is high. The present research is therefore intended to make contributions to the literatures on goals, motivation, and variety.

The Safety of Objects: Materialism, Existential Insecurity, and Brand Connection
Aric Rindfleisch, James E. Burroughs, and Nancy Wong

To date, a considerable body of research has sought to understand materialism's nature (Belk 1985; Richins and Dawson 1992), antecedents (Kasser et al. 1995; Rindfleisch, Burroughs, and Denton 1997), and consequences (Burroughs and Rindfleisch 2002; Kasser and Ryan 1993). While this research provides a number of important insights, especially in regard to materialism's effect on individual well-being, it devotes scant attention to materialism's influence upon consumption activities (for exceptions, see Kasser and Sheldon 2000; Richins 1994a, 1994b). In particular, research on how materialistic individuals relate to their brands is notably lacking. This relationship is conceptually intriguing because it bridges two important domains of consumer research (i.e., consumer values and brand connections) that are likely related but seldom intermingled (Rindfleisch and Burroughs 2004). Our research seeks to fill this gap by examining materialism's influence on brand connection.

Vicarious Goal Fulfillment: When the Mere Presence of a Healthy Option Leads to an Ironically Indulgent Decision
Keith Wilcox, Beth Vallen, Lauren Block, and Gavan Fitzsimons

Prior research has shown that perceived progress toward a focal goal allows people to temporarily disengage from that goal and pursue alternate goals. This research advances theory on goal progress and goal fulfillment by demonstrating that the mere presence of a goal-consistent cue can lead consumers to vicariously fulfill that goal and subsequently behave in line with alternative goals. Specifically, the mere presence of a healthy item on a menu leads to increased attention to that item and the vicarious fulfillment of the "eat-healthy" goal. Moreover, the increased attention to the healthy item results in an increased similarity between the most indulgent item and the other relatively unhealthy items in the choice set, allowing consumers to choose the most indulgent item on the menu. Thus, this research provides a unique theoretical contribution to goal theory by advancing our understanding of the process by which factors associated with the decision context can lead to goal fulfillment and, subsequently, impact consumer choice.

Effects of Construal Level on the Price-Quality Relationship
Dengfeng Yan and Jaideep Sengupta

Previous research has yielded mixed findings as to whether consumers rely on price to infer product quality even when they have access to attribute information. This paper proposes a reconciliation by arguing that consumers' reliance on price (vs. feature-specific product attributes) for making quality inferences will be enhanced when the judgment is psychologically distant (vs. close). Results from five experiments support this thesis. In addition to contributing to the price-quality literature, we advance construal level research by showing that the same information (e.g., price) can be part of high or low-level construals depending upon the judgment goal that is made salient (e.g., inferring quality vs. forming purchase intentions). Finally, by focusing on the self-other distinction as a key antecedent of psychological distance, we provide fresh insights into the actor-observer difference, an area of inquiry that has been relatively under-studied in the consumer literature.

Postassimilation Ethnic Consumer Research: Qualifications and Extensions
Soren Askegaard, Eric Arnould, and Dannie Kjeldgaard

To summarize our contribution, we find that Greenlandic consumer acculturation is supportive of the postassimilationist model proposed in previous research. However, acculturative processes in the Danish context lead immigrants to adopt culturally particular identity positions somewhat different from those reportedin previous postassimilationist consumer research. Further, transnational consumer culture emerges as an acculturative agent not identified in previous research on consumer ethnicity. In addition, we question the performative model of culture swapping. Finally, our analysis supports ideas about postassimilationist ethnicity as culture consumed (Fırat 1995).

Contrast and Assimilation Effects of Processing Fluency
Hao Shen, Yuwei Jiang, and Rashmi Adaval

Previous research has examined the effects of processing fluency on evaluations of the object described in the information being processed. This research has typically shown that consumers evaluate the target more favorably when information about it is easy to process (an assimilation effect). In contrast, the current research is the first attempt to study the effects of processing fluency on subsequently encountered targets and to articulate conditions in which assimilation and contrast effects are likely to occur. We show that as processing difficulty associated with a product increases, information about a subsequently encountered product becomes easier to process, leading to more favorable evaluations of it (contrast effect). We find that the thematic relatedness between the two experiences is critical in diagnosing which type of effect is likely to occur. If the two experiences are categorized as part of the same overall experience, then feelings elicited by the first one are likely to transfer to the second one leading to assimilation effects. If, however, the two are seen as unrelated, contrast effects are obtained.

The Get Ready Mind-Set: How Gearing up for Later Impacts Effort Allocation Now
Anick Bosmans, Rik Pieters, and Hans Baumgartner

Past research has shown that the effort expended on a previous task affects performance on a later task. However, it is less clear how anticipated future task demands affect performance on unrelated current tasks. The present research proposes that anticipating the resource demands imposed by a difficult future task creates a "get ready mind-set" aimed at mobilizing the required resources. Counter to what one might expect, getting ready for a future task is demonstrated to increase rather than decrease effort expenditure on current tasks because the resources mobilized for future task demands may inadvertently carry over to unrelated tasks in the present. Carryover of mobilized resources is shown to be more likely when consumers find it difficult to separate current and future tasks, either because the tasks are similar or people are dispositionally bad at keeping things separate.