All are (not) equal for the crowd: Social groups moderate the effects of human density on willingness to stay and vice-virtue choices


  • Ernesto Cardamone Doctoral Candidate in Economic and Business Sciences
  • Gaetano "Nino" Miceli Assistant Professor of Marketing
  • Maria Antonietta Raimondo Associate Professor of Marketing


This research aims to understand the role of social groups in the relationships between human density and willingness to stay in the store and vice vs. virtue choices. We suggest that scholars and managers must consider not only how many customers compose the crowd (i.e., human density), but also how they relate with the other customers in the crowd (i.e., social groups). Results of an experimental study demonstrate that higher human density increases willingness to stay when ingroup and aspirational group members compose the crowd. Moreover, higher human density leads to choose more vice and virtue products in presence of dissociative and aspirational groups members, respectively. Our research shows that social factors play an important role in the analysis of human density on consumer reactions.

Author Biographies

Ernesto Cardamone, Doctoral Candidate in Economic and Business Sciences

University of Calabria

Gaetano "Nino" Miceli, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Department of Business Administration and Law, University of Calabria

Maria Antonietta Raimondo, Associate Professor of Marketing

Department of Business Administration and Law, University of Calabria


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