Me, myself and my smartphone: Antecedents of smartphone attachment

Stefanie Sohn, Evmorfia Karampournioti, Klaus-Peter Wiedmann, Wolfgang Fritz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Smartphones have become globally famous and change since their introduction everyday life. The rapid rise in the use of smartphones has significantly influenced consumer behavior. The resulting increase of smartphone usage in purchase-related situations however, also yields negative consequences (e.g., decreasing attention, consumer distress). Hence, more still ever marketers are challenged to develop a deeper understanding of the emerging relationship between consumers and their smartphones. Extant consumer research provides inconclusive insights in this regard. On the backdrop of attachment theory, the current research hence introduces the concept of smartphone attachment and seeks to elucidate the origins of smartphone attachment. The results of an empirical survey study among 411 German smartphone users demonstrate that smartphone attachment has an emotional and a behavioral character while the emotional attachment represents a crucial predictor of attachment behavior. In addition, the findings support the assumption that consumers’ beliefs about themselves significantly shape smartphone attachment. While consumers’ sociability and materialism tendency positively influence smartphone attachment, consumers’ tendency for internal control has a negative impact on smartphone attachment. Self-concept clarity, by contrast, indirectly shapes smartphone attachment through related self-concept beliefs (e.g., materialism, sociability). Interestingly, a greater self-concept clarity is associated with a lower smartphone attachment. According to this study’s results, smartphone attachment also has its origins in consumers’ connection with the smartphones. In other words, self-brand connection has been found to significantly enhance smartphone attachment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event43rd Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 29. May 201931. May 2019


Conference43rd Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science


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