Extending the animosity model in times of the COVID-19 pandemic : A cross-national validation of the health animosity scale

The concept of consumer animosity encompasses factors that influence consumers’ negative attitudes and feelings toward other countries, which decrease consumers' buying behavior concerning foreign products. However, the impact of health concerns has been widely neglected in the literature on consumer animosity. To fill this void, this paper extends the established animosity models by introducing the new concept of health animosity and by developing a health animosity scale. The paper empirically validates the new scale in a multi-national study in the U.S., Germany, Brazil, and India. The scale measures the respondents’ health animosity toward China, as many consumers worldwide blame China for the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic and criticize the government’s misbehavior during the outbreak. The analyses confirm suitable convergent and discriminant validity of the newly developed scale for most of the countries. The paper extends the understanding on consumer animosity, as not only incidents due to single nations' concrete purposes (e.g., military, economic or political actions) but also natural catastrophes and the reactions of single nations can cause feelings of animosity. The research implications outline directions for future studies, which could investigate the consequences of health animosity.


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