How Does the Defensive Consumer Choose?

Laurence Ashworth, Queen’s University, Canada
Andrew Wilson, York University, Canada
Peter Darke, York University, Canada
The present study extends research on the defensive model of suspicion (Darke and Ritchie 2007) to the context of consumer choice. Prior research shows defensive suspicion induces negative product attitudes, but the implications for consumer choice have not yet been examined. We predict that defensive suspicion should lead to decisions that help minimize the chance of being tricked or misled. An experiment shows consumers who are experimentally induced into a suspicious mindset are more likely to defer their product choices when they have the opportunity, and more likely to choose an inexpensive versus premium alternative for forced choices.
[ to cite ]:
Laurence Ashworth, Andrew Wilson, and Peter Darke (2009) ,"How Does the Defensive Consumer Choose?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 942-942.