TitleEmbracing the Spotlight (Effect): How Attention Received Online Influences Consumers’ Offline Spotlight Biases
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsHall, M
JournalMarketing Letters
Date Published2023

In general, consumers perceive others to pay more attention to them than is actually the case (i.e., the spotlight bias). The present research examines how the magnitude of this bias (i.e., the relative inaccuracy of these attention-related perceptions) can be influenced by the attention consumers receive after sharing content online. Specifically, when consumers receive more (less) attention after sharing content online, they experience increased (decreased) egocentrism. This, in turn, increases (decreases) the inaccuracy of their perceptions regarding the attention others pay to their subsequent offline behavior—i.e., it increases (decreases) the magnitude of their spotlight biases. This effect is moderated by both consumers’ need for attention and their intensity of social media use. Thus, this research highlights how online feedback mechanisms can have a detrimental effect on consumers’ ability to accurately perceive their offline social environments. It also contributes to theory by demonstrating the online-to-offline contagion of egocentrism.