Vicarious animosity: Taking sides on provocative issues

Document Type



vicarious animosity; anger; hope; universalism; openness to change; purchase intent

Identifier Data




Publication Source

Journal of Business Research


This study introduces the concept of vicarious animosity, which is a type of consumer antagonism held against a country involved in a geopolitical conflict outside the consumer’s home country. Our study is grounded in values theory and we present arguments for Schwartz’s values of power, universalism, and openness to change as systematic predictors of anger and hope in a third-party conflict. We examine our conceptual framework among Croatian consumers evaluating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and find that power value systematically predicts anger toward Palestine, whereas universalism predicts anger toward Israel. Universalism is also found to be significantly associated with hope. The openness to change value is only related to hope. Consistent with expectations, we find significant effects between anger/hope and consumers’ buying intentions. Vicarious animosity has important theoretical implications for our understanding of consumer animosity and managerial implications for the managers of brands from countries involved in geopolitical conflicts.