Need for Uniqueness

Tattooes, customized clothing, holding deviating opinions can all be indicative of the Need for Uniqueness (Snyder & Fromkin, 1977, 1980; for an overview see Schumpe & Erb, 2015). People want to be unique, to set themselves apart, and to be special. The NfU is a stable personality trait that differs among individuals.

Individuals high in the NfU tend to defend their opinions publicly and are more likely to act in a way not consistent with social conventions (Snyder & Fromkin, 1977; Imhoff & Erb, 2009). The NfU also plays an important role in the consumer context (Lynn & Snyder, 2002). For instance, consumers high in the NfU show a preference for customized consumer products, unusual shopping venues, and innovations (Lynn & Harris, 1997).

Until recently, there was no scale to assess the NfU in German speaking populations. Schumpe, Herzberg, and Erb (2015) developed and validated such a scale.


  • Schumpe, B. M., & Erb, H.-P. (2015). Humans and uniqueness. Science Progress, 98, 1-11.
  • Schumpe, B. M., Herzberg, P. Y, & Erb, H.-P. (2016). Assessing the need for uniqueness: Development and validation of a German scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 90, 231–237.
  • Imhoff, R. & Erb, H.-P. (2009). What motivates nonconformity? Uniqueness seeking blocks majority influence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 309-320.
  • Lynn, M. & Harris, J. (1997). Individual differences in the pursuit of self-uniqueness through consumption. Journal of Applied Psychology, 27, 1861-1883.
  • Lynn, M. & Snyder, C. R. (2002). Uniqueness seeking. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 395-419). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Snyder, C. R. & Fromkin, H. L. (1977). Abnormality as a positive characteristic: The development and validation of a scale measuring need for uniqueness. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 86, 518-527.
  • Snyder, C. R., & Fromkin, H. L. (1980). Uniqueness: The human pursuit of difference. New York: Plenum Press.
last modified Jul 12, 2017 04:45 PM

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