Physical Confinement and Variety Seeking

Jonathan Levav, Columbia University, USA
Rui Juliet Zhu, University of British Columbia, Canada
How does physical confinement affect consumers' behavior? Imagine shopping in a grocery store with narrow aisles; will the feelings of confinement created by the narrow aisles affect your product choices? Building on research by Brehm (1966) and Wicklund (1974), we argue that such physical confinement can lead to psychological reactance, and that a consequence of this reactance is variety seeking. Results from a series of lab and field studies, where physical confinement was either manipulated or measured, offer consistent support for our theorizing.
[ to cite ]:
Jonathan Levav and Rui Juliet Zhu (2009) ,"Physical Confinement and Variety Seeking", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 168-171.