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The importance of peer approval in the sartorial purchasing patterns of The University of Georgia students.

There's ample evidence that peer approval and group acceptance play a role in many social phenomena. This influence can manifest itself through the bystander effect, peer pressure, social facilitation and in many other ways. However, dress as a means of social influence has been largely ignored. This study was designed to determine whether peer approval and group acceptance influence the sartorial purchases of college students and their participation in popular apparel trends on-campus. The hypothesis was that students' sartorial purchasing habits are considerably influenced by peers. In order to test this hypothesis, a survey was developed around 14 brand-name apparel items popular at UGA which solicited student response on the significance of peer approval in personal decision-making, perceptions of peers' purchasing motivations, and personal involvement in popular trends. Results were analyzed using frequency statistics, as well as categorization of responses. The majority of the respondents (85.96%) owned at least one item and ali respondents were aware of the popularity of the 14 items. In general, students were more likely to rate the behavior of others as more conforming than their own, which suggested that participation in the popular sartorial trends on-campus is viewed as being driven by conformity.

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Fashion by its very nature is fast-changing and ephemeral, but contrary to popular belief it is not unpredictable. Hemlines rise and fall in a predictable pattern; silhouettes become extreme and then fall out of fashion. There are many ways fashion forecasters predict what consumers will want before a product achieves popularity. However, some fashions, namely those that arise in particular subgroups, are idiosyncratic and defy predictive techniques. For instance, at The University of Georgia a popular pairing among students is Nike brand track shorts worn with UGG brand fur boots. This makes no logical sense as the items are designed for different climates: shorts for warm weather and fur boots for cold weather. The unpredictability and popularity of such styles suggests that another influence, aside from available fashions, may be driving the participation in popular clothing trends that develop within a college community.

The present research was designed to determine if peer approval and group acceptance influence the high level of participation in popular sartorial trends on The University of Georgia campus. Because fashion has enormous social impact in the lives of young people, it is important to examine the influence that peers have over college students' sartorial purchasing choices. While sartorial purchasing patterns are the focus of this particular study, the results can also shed light on the many ways that students influence one another when they engage in harmful behaviors, such as binge drinking, drug use, and peer pressure, which are often augmented by the college environment (Bourgeois & Bowen, 2001).

Because clothing is considered a personal choice, it is rarely recognized as a significant source of social action. However, clothing trends clearly demonstrate the existence of social influence. Many clothing and accessory items gained so much social influence that they have become synonymous with an entire era, group or person that made them famous. For instance, oversized "Jackie O" sunglasses became synonymous with the elegant style icon Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and were subsequently named after her. Over time, these distinctive styles become representative of shared values within a culture, and also reflect the zeitgeist of a particular people at a certain time (Young, 1930; Kaiser, 1997). The social psychology of clothing is an interdisciplinary field that combines knowledge from the social sciences and humanities to study such styles and to study how "people use clothing in their daily lives" (Kaiser, 1997).

To understand the sartorial trends among students at The University of Georgia, and to gain insight into the social motivations of student purchasing habits, a hybrid questionnaire of Likert items and open-ended questions was devised to determine the degree of social influence present in the purchase of 14 brand name clothing items that enjoy extreme popularity among The University of Georgia University students (See Table 1). The obvious popularity of the 14 items, which provide no clear advantage over other national brand items, neither aesthetically, nor in quality or value, suggests that peer evaluation and group approval might be an important factor influencing the sartorial purchasing choices of The University of Georgia students.

Literature Review

Fashion is defined as "a type of common thought and action which depends upon certain currents of ideas and actions running through a group" demonstrated through mediums such as clothing, accessories and hairstyles (Young, 1930, p. 552). Many fashions are very important for the group that popularizes them, making them part of the "social ritual" (Young, 1930). Despite this, many individuals refuse to admit that social influence played a role in their decision to purchase a popular item or follow a trend. This suggests that people tend to remove themselves from the sphere of social influence and claim more logical reasons for their behavior than they would afford others. Pronin, Berger, & Molouki (2007) have linked this perspective with the tendency to rely on personal thoughts over actions for self-assessment, and to rely on behavior over thought in assessments of the actions of others.

Many researchers suggest that fashions arise out of a struggle to reconcile the desire to be a distinct individual while still participating in social norms, creating an "ever-shifting balance of individualism and socialization" (Young, 1930, p. 558; Simmel, 1971; Kaiser, 1997). However, Zajonc's (1980) concept of "mere exposure" suggests that people can be influenced to conform simply by being passively exposed to certain styles and trends without being aware of any outside influence. Conforming behavior that results in apparel trends with "socially constructed" meanings gives people a sense of "living in a social world that is shared with others" (Kaiser, 1997, p. 42).

Two compelling theories can provide a framework for these socially constructed meanings. Leon Festinger's Social Comparison Theory states that humans are compelled to use social comparison with similar individuals in order to validate opinions (Buunk, Cohen-Schotanus, & Henk van Nek, 2007). Social comparison has been demonstrated in studies concerning academic standing comparisons and negative body image (Marsh, Koller, Trautwein, & Ludtke, 2008; Lindner, Hughes, & Fahy, 2008; Shomaker & Furman, 2007). Another compelling theory is Bibb Latanr's (1981) Social Impact Theory. LatanE's theory suggests that social impact increases due to the importance of the source, the closeness of the source to the perceiver, and the number of sources that create similar impact (Latane & Nida, 1980; Latanr, 1981). Such an environment seems particularly prone to social impact because of the large amount of time college students spend with their peers, relative to non-students and other adults (Blieszner & Adams, 1992; Bourgeois & Bowen, 2001).

Furthermore, a study about behavioral mimicry suggests that consumers are likely to mimic the brand preferences of people they interact with, ranging from close friends to strangers in the same aisle at the grocery store (Tanner, Ferraro, Chartrand, Bettman, & Van Baaren, 2007). This tendency can contribute to a diffusion of product preferences which are formed by "opinion-leaders" and in turn are adopted by "opinion- seekers," often subconsciously (Shoham & Ruvio, 2008). In this way, it is easy to imagine how brand preferences and trends could diffuse among The University of Georgia students, due to the brand preferences of high-profile individuals who are highly visible in the student body. A further exploration of the process of trend diffusion can be explained as an ongoing influence on the minority outgroup (non-adopters) by the majority ingroup (adopters), with the minority being constantly pressured to reflect the majority opinion by adopting the trend (Timmor & Katz-Navon, 2008). The ingroup is attractive to many members of the out-group because it represents social desirability, but participation must be reconciled with personal values, creating a diffused adoption of the trend.

Methodology

Participants--75 female and 36 male (N=111) The University of Georgia students matriculating at the XXX campus completed the entire survey, but up to 123 participants answered most questions which represents .37% of the entire student body. Studies have shown that the populations of college campuses tend to be fairly homogenous across such dimensions as "class, age, and race," so the sample, although small, is likely to be representative of the student population (Blieszner & Adams, 1992). The distribution of participants' year at The University of Georgia can be found in Graph 1. Graph 2 shows an ethnic distribution of participants.

Procedure--Participants were recruit ed through the social networking site Facebook as well as through an online undergraduate network discussion forum by providing public links to an internet survey website (www.surveymonkey.com) that granted access to the survey. The completion of the survey took approximately 15-20 minutes. Internet methods of data collection were deemed most appropriate due to the amount of time college students spend online.

Instrument--First, through daily observation for a period of two weeks it was determined that a visibly large amount of The University of Georgia students wear many of the same brand name clothing items. From a list of the recurring items, the researchers isolated 14 different brand name items that appeared most frequently on-campus. Surprisingly, the most popular items were not nationally prominent and were rarely advertised in mass media outlets. In addition, despite their brand name status, they were affordable to the average The University of Georgia students--they range in price from to $35-$200. Nine of the items were popular with both male and female students. Four were mainly used by female students and only one was used solely by male students. (See Table 1).

The research instrument was designed to target the participants' thoughts about these products through a Likert item survey and open-ended questions. At the beginning of the survey, participants were shown an image containing the 14 apparel items and were prompted to keep these items in mind while completing the survey (see Table 1). The first section of the survey

[GRAPHIC 1 OMITTED]

[GRAPHIC 2 OMITTED]

consisted of three sets of six statements (called perspectives) that prompted a response on a five-point Likert scale that ranged from 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree. The first perspective, personal decision-making, was designed to solicit responses to statements about social influence on personal sartorial purchasing decisions. The second perspective, peer perceptions, was designed to solicit participants' responses to similar statements, however, this time the participants were asked to disclose their perceptions regarding the purchasing motivations of their peers. The third perspective, peer approval, prompted participants to express their views about peer approval in general. The three perspectives generated a multi-faceted opinion matrix in which responses could be cross-checked and patterns discerned.

The second section of the survey was a list of open-ended questions and was subject to qualitative analysis. The questions were designed to elicit personal and unstructured responses and their role was to help put the three-perspective approach into context. Students responded to a range of topics regarding participation in the trends surrounding the 14 brand-name items, motivation to purchase them, exposure to advertising influence regarding the fourteen brand-name items, personal interest in fashion, sources of fashion information, and brand perceptions. Finally, the third section of the questionnaire contained seven demographic and psychographic questions. Information collected about participants included year at The University of Georgia, sex, ethnicity, shopping frequency, involvement with a Greek organization or student organization and major.

Results and Discussion

Table 2 lists the three set of statements and summarizes the percentage breakdown of the responses to the Likert-scale items.

The first of the open-ended questions asked how many apparel items in Table 1 the respondent owns. The number of students owning one or more items accounted for 85.96% of total respondents (n=114). Only 16 (14.04%) respondents who answered this question did not own any of the items. 49 respondents owned 1-3 items, 33 owned 4-6 items, and 16 owned 7-8 items. This data supported the initial hypothesis that the 14 brand name items included in this study are representative of popular apparel at the The University of Georgia.

The second question asked how many of the items the respondents owned had been purchased for them as gifts. Out of the respondents (n=114), 46 received 0 items as gifts, 59 received 1-3 as gifts, and 9 received 4-6 as gifts. The discrepancy between item ownership and the number of items received as gifts suggests that many participants had some influence in the decision to purchase at least one of the 14 products. It is important to note that many individuals who reported owning none of the products included a negative statement about these products, such as, "I don't buy clothing everyone else owns," which indicates that these products evoke a strong emotional response in individuals who do not participate in these trends.

The third question asked whether students wore different apparel on-campus than off-campus. Only 13 respondents reported that they occasionally wear different clothing and only 7 respondents said that they wear different apparel off-campus than on-campus. This indicates that the vast majority of respondents (n=114) wear the same apparel on- and off-campus, suggesting that these trends transcend the boundaries of The University of Georgia or that students' communal identity is very strong.

The fourth and fifth questions were designed to determine the appeal of the popular brand-name products in Table I. Question four asks why the participant made the decision to purchase one or more items. Twenty-three of 110 respondents indicated a social reason for purchasing the products, such as "to join a fraternity," "popular," "because everyone else had them" or "my friends had them." Ten respondents gave an answer that reflected a defensive attitude, such as "I owned them before I came to the University" and "even if they weren't popular I would still use them." Thirty respondents labeled the product fashionable or stylish. Comfort, practicality and necessity were also mentioned as reasons for purchasing an item. Question five asked respondents to explain the appeal of one or more of the items. Twenty-eight of 111 respondents reported that the appeal was social; this included statements such as, "social acceptance," "to look like everyone else," and "other people wear them." Twenty-nine respondents reported that the appeal was linked to brand-name and included references to "the logo" or "brand image." Others stated that comfort, durability, and quality were key elements of the appeal. Although there were many students who admitted being attracted to these products because of the brands' image and the social status they conferred to the wearer, the majority did not explicitly attribute the products' appeal to social motives.

Questions six and seven asked about the influence of advertising in purchasing these products. Despite the fact that the majority of these products are rarely advertised, and none of these products are prominently featured in the national advertising campaigns of the particular brands, 44 out of 109 individuals that responded to question 6 felt that they regularly saw advertisements for the products, which suggests that the brands' popularity leads people to believe they must be regularly advertised. Question seven asked whether advertising had influenced the purchase of any of the items in the visual. Even though 44 of 109 respondents reported seeing advertisements regularly, only 13 respondents said that they were somewhat influenced by advertisements and only 5 respondents answered this question with an unqualified "Yes."

Questions eight and nine were meant to determine the level of fashion interest of the respondents. Question eight asked how interested the respondent was in fashion. Thirty-eight of 107 respondents replied that they were very interested and only 15 respondents reported that they were not at all interested. The majority of the respondents classified themselves as moderately interested, fairly interested, or "sort of" interested. Question nine asked where respondents get their fashion information. Most respondents recognized two main sources: 59 of 111 respondents reporting an influence from a media-source and 42 respondents indicating that they received fashion information from friends or peers. These responses reconfirm that the majority of respondents are somewhat interested in fashion and seek fashion information from some source. This also suggests that students would rather admit to being influenced by passive media sources than by friends or acquaintances. Question 10 asked if the apparel purchases of friends affected the individual's purchases. Seventy-one of 111 respondents reported that friends have at least some influence over their fashion purchases, with 58 of these respondents answering with an unqualified "Yes." Compared to question nine, 29 more respondents reported a purchase being influenced by a friend than reported obtaining fashion information from friends. This response further supports that individuals may be unaware of the influences they experience.

Questions 11 and 12 meant to determine the appeal of the products, both on-campus and by themselves. Question 11 asked what brands the individual perceived as important on-campus. Ninety-five of 104 respondents listed at least one brand that was in Table 1 and only 4 respondents reported that they did not perceive brands as important. This suggests that the majority of students perceive brands as having some degree of importance and that the products in the visual are representative of the style preferences of the student population. To determine why the brands in Table 1 are so popular, question 12 asked what aspects of the products were the most important. Thirty-two of 111 respondents cited brand, 30 respondents cited comfort or functionality and only 4 respondents cited price as a most important aspect. The remaining responses included durability, style, and practicality.

Overall, the results of the open-ended questions show a trend for The University of Georgia students to own at least one of the brand-name apparel products in the visual, to perceive at least one of the featured brands as being important on-campus, to be more concerned with style than cost, to be at least somewhat interested in fashion, to be influenced by the apparel purchases of friends, and to get fashion information from the media and friends. Over 30% of respondents specifically reported being somewhat aware of the social appeal of one or more of the 14 products, indicating that these trends are highly visible among students.

Questions regarding the demographics of the sample revealed some key differences. About 67.6% of respondents were female, while only 32.4% were male. This makes the results more generalizable to the female University of Georgia population than the male. Besides this, however, gender made no appreciable difference in the responses, except that the majority of women reported shopping for apparel 1-3 times a month, while the majority of men reported shopping for apparel 1-3 times a year. All respondents who reported shopping for apparel 1-3 times a week were women. When shopping frequency was applied to responses, the group that shopped weekly was also more likely to report peer influence when purchasing apparel than participants who shopped less frequently.

Because second, third and fourth year students accounted for 77.7% of respondents, the results may be less informative about the buying preferences of first and fifth year students. However, a notable difference was that first year students were more likely to deny social influence in personal decision-making than any other year and also recorded more extreme responses in perspective one. This is likely because students just entering into The University of Georgia community experience a period where they must reconcile personal style with group values. In terms of academic majors of participants, 63 indicated involvement with a "social" major, which was classified as a major that either focuses on the study of people or society, or is indicative of a career in which one will work closely with clients and other people. This could potentially skew the results because people in such majors are likely more aware of the social motivations of their actions.

Slightly less than half of the respondents participated in student organizations, but this, ultimately, did not appear to bear any significance on this study. However, 26.1% of respondents reported being a member of a Greek organization, which revealed some interesting differences. In perspective one, students who participated in Greek organizations tended to somewhat agree with every statement, most notably that they sometimes purchase apparel solely to fit in with peers and that they feel compelled to purchase items that become popular. This indicates that students who are in Greek organizations may be more aware of their social motives when purchasing popular clothing than non-Greek students. For example, in perspective two, students in Greek organizations were more likely to completely agree with the statement "peers make judgments about others based on their apparel" than other students, who were likely to only somewhat agree. In perspective three, students in Greek organizations were more likely to completely agree that they felt accepted by peers and almost 50.0% somewhat agreed that apparel helped them fit in with peers (as opposed to 33.8% somewhat disagreeing, for non-Greeks). In addition, none of the students in Greek organizations reported owning none of the items, and 22 of the 29 Greek respondents owned three or more of the products. However, only 9 of these respondents reported brand as the appeal of one or more of the items. Interestingly, students in Greek organizations were no more interested in fashion than non-Greeks, and they reported getting their fashion information mostly from the media. This suggests that even though students in Greek organizations are more aware of their social motivations, they are still more willing to attribute the influence on their sartorial choices to a passive source (the media) rather than an active source (their friends). One notable gender difference regarding students in Greek organizations is that the majority of Greek males shop for apparel 1-3 times a month, which is the same as the shopping frequency of Greek and non-Greek females, but much more frequent than that of the average male student, who reported shopping 1-3 times a year.

Conclusion

This study revealed several important facets of social influence in the sartorial purchasing habits of The University of Georgia students. It found that the vast majority of the participants see the sartorial purchasing behavior of others as more conforming than their own behavior. While they are more likely to attribute the purchase of a popular brand-name item to conformity in peers, they are more likely to attribute their own purchases to logical reasons, such as fit and comfort. Many participants seemed to be aware of at least some peer influence in their purchase of the 14 products, as shown by the amount of students who referenced brand or status as a motivation to purchase. Only 16 participants (14.04%) in the study did not own any of the items in Table 1, and no participant in a Greek organization reported owning none of the items. Overall, there was an overwhelming tendency to rate similar behaviors of peers as conforming. However, the Greek population seemed to differ at least slightly from the overall sample, because the male participants were much more frequent shoppers than male non-Greeks, which may indicate more fashion interest, or more interest in appearance management, among Greek members. This heightened interest and fashion awareness suggests that the pro-sociality of such groups contributes to peer awareness and the desire to "fit in."

Overall, this study provided evidence that the purchase of popular brand-name apparel items has a strong relationship with a perception of peer approval and judgment. Furthermore, it suggested that this influence may be subconscious, since very few respondents were likely to attribute the purchase of the 14 popular apparel items to peer influence. While some students claimed that advertising had influenced their buying decisions, it cannot be the case, as the 14 chosen products are rarely advertised in traditional media outlets. This implies that being swayed by persuasive advertising messages is viewed by the sample as preferable to being influenced by social persuasion and exposure.

Limitations

As this study reveals individuals are often unaware of all of the influences guiding their decisions, which illustrates a limitation inherent in self-report measures in general. This study provides a foundation for future research about how information (fashion or non-fashion) diffuses through a college environment, and ultimately suggests that peer approval plays a role in increased participation in popular behavior. The lack of similar studies in the literature makes this study a foundational exploration of the link between peer approval and trend diffusion, and would require further research to solidify the results. A future study needs to be conducted with a larger sample and at other universities so that the findings may be generalizable. It would also be beneficial to obtain a closer ratio of female and male participants, as the current study revealed little gender difference in the responses. In order to solidify the findings regarding differences between Greek and non-Greek students, a larger number of Greek participants should be solicited. Furthermore,

this research uncovered evidence that was contrary to the correspondence bias, the tendency to make dispositional attributions about the behavior of others and situational attributes about one's own behavior. This may lead to a new area of research about exceptions to the correspondence bias. Finally, this research revealed that the behavior of college students is influenced by peers without them being consciously aware of that influence. If this important finding could be widely disseminated among university student populations harmful behaviors that are popular on college campuses such as extreme dieting, hazing, binge drinking, and drug use may be more successfully prevented.

Author Note

Mallory Roman, University of Georgia; Katalin Medvedev, Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors, University of Georgia.

This research was supported by grants from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Katalin Medvedev, Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors, 319 Dawson Hall, 305 Sanford Dr., Athens, GA 30602. Email: medvedev@uga.edu

References:

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MALLORY ROMAN

KATALIN MEDVEDEV

University of Georgia
Table 1
Inventory of Brand Name Clothing Items

Clothing Item                                   Male (M),
                                                Female (F),
                                                or both (MF) use

The North Face Denali Jacket                    MF
UGG Classic Boot                                F
Rainbow leather sandals                         MF
Nike Tempo Track Short                          F
Clarks Wallabee Shoes                           MF
Mountain Hardware Monkey Man/Woman Jacket       MF
Costa Del Mar sunglasses                        MF
Oakley sunglasses                               MF
Ralph Lauren Classic-Fit Polo                   MF
Vineyard Vines Classic Tote                     F
Tory Burch Reva Ballerina Flat                  F
Colombia Half Moon Short                        M
New Balance 574 Sneakers                        MF
Sperry Topsiders                                MF

Table 2
Percentages from Sartorial Purchasing Patterns Survey

                                            Completely    Somewhat
                                             Disagree     Disagree

Perspective 1: Decision Making

1. Peer approval is important to me            15.4%        19.5%
when I make a decision to purchase
new apparel items.

2. I feel that wearing brand-name              26.0%        18.7%
apparel products gives me a sense
of belonging to my peer group.

3. I feel more confident when my               13.8%        22.8%
apparel is similar to that of my
peers

4. I feel more comfortable when my             11.5%        22.1%
apparel is similar to that of my
peers.

5. I sometimes purchase brand-                 39.0%        27.6%
name apparel products solely
because they are popular among my
peer group.

6. I feel compelled to purchase                39.0%        23.6%
new brand-name apparel products if
they become popular among my peers
at the University of Georgia.

Perspective 2: Peer Perceptions

1. Peer approval is a large                     5.0%         3.4%
consideration in the purchasing
decisions of University of Georgia
students.

2. Many students purchase brand-                0.9%         0.9%
name apparel products in order to
feel a sense of belonging to the
University of Georgia community.

3. If a brand-name apparel product              3.4%         4.3%
is popular at the University of
Georgia campus, the majority of my
peers will purchase it.

4. My peers make judgments about                1.7%         7.7%
others based on their apparel.

5. My peers buy brand-name apparel              4.3%         9.4%
products specifically to "fit-in"
with the University of Georgia
community.

6. If students don't purchase                  31.0%        39.5%
popular brand-name apparel
products, they are not considered
part of the student community.

Perspective 3: Peer Approval

1. Acceptance as a part of the                  7.8%        15.7%
University of Georgia community is
important to me.

2. I feel accepted by my peers at               0.0%         3.4%
the University of Georgia.

3. Peer approval is a                           5.1%        19.5%
consideration in my behavior.

4. I am always aware of how others             3.500        21.9%
perceive me.

5. I feel that my apparel helps me              6.0%        31.0%
to "fit-in" with my peers at the
University of Georgia.

6. I have a desire to be                        7.0%        12.2%
considered by others as a part of
the University of Georgia
community.

                                                           Somewhat
                                              Neutral        Agree

Perspective 1: Decision Making

1. Peer approval is important to me            10.6%         48.0%
when I make a decision to purchase
new apparel items.

2. I feel that wearing brand-name              15.4%         34.1%
apparel products gives me a sense
of belonging to my peer group.

3. I feel more confident when my               18.7%         33.3%
apparel is similar to that of my
peers

4. I feel more comfortable when my             19.7%         33.6%
apparel is similar to that of my
peers.

5. I sometimes purchase brand-                 11.4%         17.9%
name apparel products solely
because they are popular among my
peer group.

6. I feel compelled to purchase                13.8%         19.5%
new brand-name apparel products if
they become popular among my peers
at the University of Georgia.

Perspective 2: Peer Perceptions

1. Peer approval is a large                     6.7%         46.4%
consideration in the purchasing
decisions of University of Georgia
students.

2. Many students purchase brand-                5.2%         40.5%
name apparel products in order to
feel a sense of belonging to the
University of Georgia community.

3. If a brand-name apparel product             17.1%         41.8%
is popular at the University of
Georgia campus, the majority of my
peers will purchase it.

4. My peers make judgments about                8.5%         44.4%
others based on their apparel.

5. My peers buy brand-name apparel             12.0%         48.7%
products specifically to "fit-in"
with the University of Georgia
community.

6. If students don't purchase                  16.0%          9.2%
popular brand-name apparel
products, they are not considered
part of the student community.

Perspective 3: Peer Approval

1. Acceptance as a part of the                 14.8%         44.3%
University of Georgia community is
important to me.

2. I feel accepted by my peers at              10.3%         47.9%
the University of Georgia.

3. Peer approval is a                          16.9%         49.2%
consideration in my behavior.

4. I am always aware of how others             25.4%         36.8%
perceive me.

5. I feel that my apparel helps me             23.3%         35.3%
to "fit-in" with my peers at the
University of Georgia.

6. I have a desire to be                       17.4%         43.5%
considered by others as a part of
the University of Georgia
community.

                                             Completely
                                               Agree

Perspective 1: Decision Making

1. Peer approval is important to me             6.5%
when I make a decision to purchase
new apparel items.

2. I feel that wearing brand-name               5.7%
apparel products gives me a sense
of belonging to my peer group.

3. I feel more confident when my               12.2%
apparel is similar to that of my
peers

4. I feel more comfortable when my            13.1%
apparel is similar to that of my
peers.

5. I sometimes purchase brand-                 4.9%
name apparel products solely
because they are popular among my
peer group.

6. I feel compelled to purchase                4.0%
new brand-name apparel products if
they become popular among my peers
at the University of Georgia.

Perspective 2: Peer Perceptions

1. Peer approval is a large                   39.5%
consideration in the purchasing
decisions of University of Georgia
students.

2. Many students purchase brand-              52.6%
name apparel products in order to
feel a sense of belonging to the
University of Georgia community.

3. If a brand-name apparel product            33.3%
is popular at the University of
Georgia campus, the majority of my
peers will purchase it.

4. My peers make judgments about              37.6%
others based on their apparel.

5. My peers buy brand-name apparel            25.6%
products specifically to "fit-in"
with the University of Georgia
community.

6. If students don't purchase                  4.2%
popular brand-name apparel
products, they are not considered
part of the student community

Perspective 3: Peer Approval

1. Acceptance as a part of the                17.4%
University of Georgia community is
important to me.

2. I feel accepted by my peers at             38.5%
the University of Georgia.

3. Peer approval is a                          9.3%
consideration in my behavior.

4. I am always aware of how others            12.3%
perceive me.

5. I feel that my apparel helps me             4.3%
to "fit-in" with my peers at the
University of Georgia.

6. I have a desire to be                      20.0%
considered by others as a part of
the University of Georgia
community.
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Article Details
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Author:Roman, Mallory; Medvedev, Katalin
Publication:College Student Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2011
Words:5889
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