The roles of extraordinary beliefs in consumption rituals

Cele C. Otnes, Linda Tuncay Zayer, Robert Alfonso Arias, Arun Sreekumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People often ascribe to extraordinary beliefs (EBs), or those that laws of science cannot explain, or those that may even contradict science. Both the foundational literature in anthropology and recent work in consumer behavior affirm the assumption that rituals—structured, repeated, symbolic, and expressive activities—might be one context where extraordinary beliefs shape consumer experiences. To date, however, little understanding exists regarding the types of EBs that emerge in consumption-ritual contexts, and how they influence ritual participation. We examine over 30 years of articles in top-tier journals to address two questions: (1) Which EBs emerge as salient to consumer rituals? (2) How do EBs shape consumer ritual participation? In doing so, we illuminate the role of 15 EBs organized by four key functions. We reveal important gaps in understanding the interplay between EBs and consumer rituals and offer future research recommendations to address these gaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-581
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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