Changing the Warmth and Competence Dimensions: Experimental Validation in the Context of Insurance Consultants

; ; (). Changing the Warmth and Competence Dimensions: Experimental Validation in the Context of Insurance Consultants. Academy of Marketing Conference, Limerick, Ireland, 07. July Peer reviewed.

Purpose: The Stereotype Content Model (SCM) postulates that consumers perceive other individuals primarily in terms of their warmth and competence. This also applies to sales agents. Consumers admire brands that are ‘lovable stars’ (highly competent and very warm). Since previous studies were based on explicit measures of existing people and groups, we aimed at experimentally creating the appropriate characters.

Method: Four sets of stimulus material were created using attributes and descriptions from the SCM.

Results: The results of this study fully confirm our approach. The blind perceivers judged the targets on the two dimensions of warmth and competence as intended.

Conclusions: The results confirm that it is possible to apply our model to the domain of insurance agents by using competence and likability as dimensions. Furthermore, it is possible to assess the stereotype in advance. Previous studies relied on ex-post judgments. Finally, likability and competence have a positive effect on trust. Thus both dimensions should be taken into account by management when recruiting or training their company’s representatives.