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Abstract

The current research brings the spotlight onto customer Gapjil toward service employees. In an attempt to understand what brings Gapjil, the present article investigates the intertwined effects of perceived economic mobility (PEM), self-other referent priming (SORP), and temporal focus on Gapjil. Study 1 shows that PEM increases Gapjil among self-referent primed people, but not among other-referent primed people. Study 2 examining the role of temporal focus (present vs. future) reveals that the effect found in study 1 is replicated in the present focus, but the effect is reversed in the future focus. We explain this dynamic pattern of the 3-way interaction effect with a relative gratification and a motivation to attune the self to the perceived norm of the high class. We also discuss how to create a social atmosphere to lessen Gapjil in public and corporate communication strategies.

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