Working Paper Session

[ to cite ]:
(1998) ,"Working Paper Session", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 25, eds. Joseph W. Alba & J. Wesley Hutchinson, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 75-87.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 25, 1998      Pages 75-87

WORKING PAPER SESSION

 

CONSUMER SATISFACTION THROUGH COUNTERFACTUAL EVALUATION: WHEN WORSE OUTCOMES LEAD TO MORE SATISFACTION

Lisa J. Abendroth, Duke University

Baba Shiv, University of Iowa

This research examines conditions that foster counterfactual consumer evaluation and the effect those evaluations have on satisfaction. Experimental results show that downward counterfactual comparisons provide consumers with an affective boost, allowing them to feel happier than consumers who are objectively better off. These findings are incorporated into a comparisons model of satisfaction, which positions counterfactual evaluation as a new route to satisfaction alongside existing satisfaction theories.

 

NOT NOW I’M TIRED: THE EFFECTS OF AGE, TIME OF DAY, AND DISTRACTION ON PERSUASION

Lisa J. Abendroth, Duke University

Tamara A. Rahhal, Duke University

Lynn Hasher, Duke University

This study investigates how age and circadian arousal interact with distraction to influence persuasability. Results indicate that attitudes do not vary by age or time of day unless a distraction is present. When distracted, older adults show greater message acceptance at their non-optimal time of day (PM) but appear relatively unaffected at their optimal time of day (AM). In contrast, distraction increases younger adults’ agreement with the message at their optimal time of day (PM) but has no effect at their non-optimal time of day (AM). Drive theory is presented as an alternative explanation for the observed results.

 

FACTORS AFFECTING THE ACQUISITION OF ENERGY EFFICIENT DOMESTIC APPLIANCES: A REVIEW AND EXPLORATORY STUDY

Olli T. Ahtola, Helsinki School of Economics, Finland

Mark T. Spence, Southern Connecticut State University

Hannu Kuusela, University of Tampere, Finland

The objectives of this manuscript are twofold. First to share with marketers insights provided by behavioral psychologists concerning energy conservation. Second, to report findings from a survey conducted in Finland concerning sources of appliance related information considered important; to determine criteria used to evaluate and select cold storage equipment; and to assess attitudes and opinions toward energy conservation. Sales personnel and sales brochures, two biased sources of information, were mentioned most frequently as providers of important brand-related information. The least biased source, construction/trade magazine reviews, was mentioned by only five percent of respondents. When asked to freely recall criteria used to evaluate brands, price was stated 60 percent of the time, far more than any other criteria. Energy consumption came in a distant second at 35 percent. This suggests that more costly energy efficient brands may be removed from people’s consideration sets. Apparently immediate losses are viewed as more detrimental than are longer term gains, consistent with Prospect Theory, and/or respondents are not using a rational total-cost decision making mental model.

 

ONCE UPON A TIME THE PERSUASIVE IMPACT OF STORIES ON CONSUMER DECISION MAKING

Sara L. Appleton-Knapp, University of California, Los Angeles

Much work in the marketing area has described how stories are used in advertising from a literary perspective. But not much has been studied about how people cognitively process information that they read in story form. This paper attempts to demonstrate that the cognitive response of mental simulation leads to systematic differences between reading and understanding stories, and processing information in non-story form (list information). Past research has shown that mental simulation can affect behavior, personal likelihood estimates (predictions that the scenario will occur as imagined) and affective responses, all of which are relevant in an advertising context. Drawing on work on case history effects, scripts, and mental simulation, this paper provides a theoretical framework and proposes an experiment which attempts to show that highly self-relevant stories can encourage a mental simulation of the story scenario. Understanding when and how stories encourage mental simulation can help to enhance advertising effectiveness.

 

THE FLORIDA CLASSIC: PERFORMING AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY

Miriam B. Stamps, University of South Florida

Eric Arnould, University of South Florida

Through description of an economically significant community-based, consumption performance, the Florida Classic football bowl weekend, the authors discuss performative mechanisms employed to create and sustain a community little discussed in consumer research: an African-American middle class. Types of performances, key symbols, and significant rituals are described. We show how the game provides a forum for the expression of values critical to community self-definition and representation to the broader society. For example, high involvement in the half-time marching band show and intensive, inclusive networking are two indications of this community’s distinctive value orientation. A particular coda, involving accusations of racism against a local mall, illustrate one source of tension within this community. This tension is nonetheless constitutive of this performative event. The authors argue that an understanding of performances like the Florida Classic provide insight into the community ties, that are, in turn, essential to understanding the African-American middle class.

 

THREE FACES OF CHARITY: DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERISM, AND CAUSE-RELATED PURCHASING

Debra Zabreznik Basil, University of Colorado, Boulder

This study examines three forms of helping behavior relevant to non-profit organizations: monetary donations, volunteerism, and cause-related purchasing. A national survey of 2,967 is used to examine these behaviors’ (1) correlations and (2) common predictors. A new construct, purposeful consumption, is proposed as a predictor for cause-related purchasing. The results show a close relationship between monetary donations and volunteerismCboth performed by older, wealthier people. Cause-related purchasers tend to be younger, less affluent, and purposeful consumers. People who perform any of the three behaviors are likely to perform other socially responsible behaviors and are likely to be more religious.

 

THE MISSING LINK BETWEEN VALUES AND BEHAVIOUR?

Karen Brunso, The Aarhus School of Business, Denmark

For a long time human values have been perceived as abstract cognitions representing desired goals or end-states which motivate human behaviour. A number of studies have tried to explore the link between values and behaviour, but often different constructs are included as intermediate links between values and specific behaviour, since values may be too abstract to influence behaviour directly. We propose the concept of lifestyle as a mediator between values and behaviour, and present our approach to lifestyle based on principles from cognitive psychology, where we distinguish between values and lifestyle and behaviour. Based on this approach we collected data covering values, lifestyle and behaviour, and estimated the cognitive hierarchy form values to lifestyle to behaviour by structural equation models.

 

VALIDATION OF REILLY’S ROLE LOAD SCALE

Alvin C. Burns, Louisiana State University

Leslie Cole, University of Virginia

Elizabeth Wilson, Louisiana State University

Ronald Bush, University of West Florida

Michael Reilly’s (1982) role overload scale has proven to be an insightful mediator of wife work status in explaining various family and wife consumption behaviors. However, the scale has never undergone rigorous scale development examination, nor has it been applied to husbands on a self-report basis. This study addresses the scale properties of both self-reported wife role load and self-reported husband role load using a representative sample of United States households. Using a multi-method approach where spouses perceptions are compared to self-reports, employing confirmatory factor analysis, and applying known groups tests, the scale is found to be reliable and valid in its present 13-item form for both wife role load and husband role load.

 

THROW ME SOMETHING MISTER! AN INFORMANT STUDY OF MARDI GRAS CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Laura A. Williams, San Diego State University

Melissa Johnson, Louisiana State University

James G. Maxham, III, Louisiana State University

Barbara J. Ross, Louisiana State University

Alvin C. Burns, Louisiana State University

Experiential consumption involves those activities, feelings, values, and symbolic attachments that consumers express during instances of emotional highs and lows. The celebration of Mardi Gras in America’s South offers a valuable backdrop for the study of experiential consumption and associated symbolic attachments. It is the extreme nature of behaviors, the unquestionable symbolism of festival artifacts and the polarity of consumers present, that makes Mardi Gras an irresistible subject for the study of experiential consumption. As a work in progress, this paper represents the initial findings of a purely qualitative study. The objectives of the study were to analyze the experience of attending Mardi Gras via behaviors displayed by consumers and the feelings and emotions they attach to the consumption eperience overall. Using computer-aided content analysis, several themes emerged which indicate that the spectacle of Mardi Gras helps to satisfy consumers’ need for social interaction and the desire to feel integrated with euphoric celebration in an arena which supports a lack of self control. Future research in this area will attempt to utilize a larger sample size and will further explore the themes of self expression and social interaction via experiential consumption of special events and festivals.

 

BRAND EXTENSION: REACTIONS OF CONSUMERS LOYAL TO THE CORE BRAND

Francois Coderre, Universite de Sherbrooke

Christian Dupuis, Le Groupe Leger et Leger

Serge Lafrance, Tenor Marketing

This article explores the reactions of brand-loyal consumers toward brand extension. It is hypothesized, based on categorization research, that brand-loyal consumers of a core brand react less favorably to brand extension than do other groups of consumers. An experiment was conducted and the findings confirm that, among consumers loyal to the core brand, beliefs and evaluation pertaining to the core brand are less likely to be transferred to the extension. In addition, brand extension is more likely to result in a dilution of the core-brand evaluation among consumers loyal to the core brand. The implications of these findings are discussed.

 

THE INFLUENCE OF DEPENDENCE PATTERNS ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOR: EXPLORATION AND REFINEMENT OF A CONCEPT

T. Bettina Cornwell, University of Memphis

Wakiuru Wamwara, University of Memphis

The central thesis of this paper is that consumption patterns are influenced by life patterns and that it is useful to express life patterns as a set of dependent relationships. The paper begins with a brief introduction and criticism of the household life-cycle which has been consumer researchers’ standard template of life. Dependency as a concept is introduced and argued to be valuable in expanding our understanding of the consumer behavior of demographically diverse and changing households and non-household living arrangements. Finally, dependent relationships are examined through focused discussions with four groups of women. Illustrative examples of the influence of dependent relationships on consumer behavior are given.

 

TRIAL OF NEW OVER-THE-COUNTER PHARMACEUTICALS

Elizabeth H. Creyer, University of Arkansas

Catherine A. Cole, University of Iowa

Illias Hrsistodoulakis, University of Iowa

Public policy concerns recently arose when two acid reducers (Tagamet HB and Pepcid AC), formerly available by prescription only, were introduced in reduced strength over-the-counter (that is, without a prescription). Our research explores whether older consumers are differentially more likely to adopt new OTC medicines than other consumers. In addition, we examine whether adopters of new OTC medicines have different attitudes towards health care than nonadopters.

 

TOWARD A TYPOLOGY OF EXTERNAL-INFORMATION SEARCHER TYPES

Denver D’Rozario, Howard University

Michael Tsiros, Washington University

First, we review the prior literature in marketing that has reported distinct pre-purchase external-information searcher types. All of these prior studies were restricted to durable-goods purchases. Based on this review, we develop one comprehensive typology that subsumes and accounts for all of these searcher types. Finally, we suggest the usefulness of this typology to marketers, by developing distinct, testable profiles of each of these individuals. These profiles are brief synopses of each of these searcher types, in tems of their typical pre-purchase external information-search, demographic, and psychographic characteristics.

 

POSITIONING, CATEGORIZATION PROCESSES, AND LOW-INVOLVEMENT SHOPPING

Debra M. Desrochers, University of Rochester

Shailendra Pratap Jain, University of Rochester

A brand’s position may be communicated, literally, by positioning the brand in a particular aisle of a store. The proximity of various products spontaneously encourages categorizations which influence consumers’ perceptions of important attributes and, consequently, brand attitudes. The experiment utilizes the multiattribute model to examine how the location of a product evokes a particular categorization, which in turn influences attribute importance weights and, hence, consumer evaluations. It also tests the applicable categorization principles of priming and recency in the retail setting. This research extends our understanding of low-involvement shopping behavior and has implications for in-store product placements.

 

ETHNIC ATTITUDES TOWARD DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERTISING

Steve Edwards, University of Texas, Austin

Carrie La Ferle, University of Texas, Austin

Consumer attitudes about direct response advertising were investigated regarding their influence on communication effectiveness when targeting a multicultural market. Ethnicity and attitudes toward direct response advertising were hypothesized to influence consumers’ intention to purchase from direct response ads. Ethnic differences in attitudes toward direct response advertising were not noted; however, mixed results were found concerning ethnic differences and purchase intent. A significant relationship was found between attitudes toward direct response advertising and purchase intent. A key finding was that the ethnic minorities in the study seem to be very active as direct response shoppers.

 

THE ROLE OF MESSAGE VARIABLES AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE USE OF FEAR APPEALS: THE CASE OF DRINKING AND DRIVING

Patricia Stout, University of Texas, Austin

Steven Edwards, University of Texas, Austin

Karen Whitehill King, University of Georgia

More recently developed models of how fear appeals work (e.g., Protection Motivation Theory) assign increasing prominence to the role of feelings of fear in consumers’ processing of messages. In this study, an examination of the relative role of different types of threat appeals in eliciting fear revealed that physical threats were more fear-arousing than social threats. However, no differences were found when the threat of injury was directed at the self versus another person. Respondents’ sex and level of drinking explained a significant amount of variation in these effects.

 

STORE FORMAT AND COMPULSIVE BUYING BEHAVIOR: DISTINGUISHING COMPULSIVE FROM IMPULSIVE PURCHASES

Karen Finlay, University of Guelph

Vinay Kanetkar, University of Guelph

Cathy Goodwin, University of Manitoba

A study is reported which examines the influence of retail shopping environment and an individual’s predisposition to buy compulsively on shopping behavior. The format of warehouse-type stores appears to augment an individual’s predisposition to feel anxious, compelling unplanned buying. Individuals who are inherently predisposed to buy compulsively tend to describe the environment of this type of store as "overwhelming" and purchase significantly more in this environment than their non-compulsive counterparts. Folow-up interviews with 20 survey respondents help distinguish between higher levels of unplanned purchases among compulsive consumers in warehouse-type outlets that are simply impulsive versus compulsive and harmful to the individual.

 

EFFECTS OF ACCURATE USAGE OF NUTRITION FACTS PANEL INFORMATION ON PRODUCT NUTRITION EVALUATIONS AND PURCHASE INTENTIONS

Scot Burton, University of Arkansas

Judith A. Garretson, University of Arkansas

Anne Velliquette, University of Arkansas

In response to objectives specified in the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA ), the Nutrition Facts panel on food packages was designed to provide comprehensible quantitative nutrition information that would allow consumers to make more informed food choices that could result in significant long-term health benefits. This paper helps contribute to recent research on the assessment of the NLEA by examining how accurately consumers utilize nutrient information in the Facts panel in a specific usage task and offering predictions and tests of the effects of more accurate usage on product nutrition evaluations and purchase intentions. Results show that more accurate usage moderates the effect of the product nutrition value on consumer evaluations. Findings also reveal that several variables are related to accuracy in the usage task. Implications based on conclusions about usage of the label information are offered, along with suggestions for possible future research.

 

TRUST AND COMMITMENT IN RELATIONAL VERSUS DISCRETE EXCHANGES: THE EFFECT ON CONSUMER SATISFACTION

Randi Priluck Grossman, Seton Hall University

Consumer-firm relationships have been compared to intimate relationships. This research examines two aspects of close relationships, trust and commitment, and their affect on satisfaction. Subjects were asked to read and imagine themselves in a purchase situation and evaluate their level of commitment, trust and satisfaction for the store, the products purchased from the store, and the relationship they had with the store. The findings indicate that individuals engaged in relational exchanges are more committed to and trusting of the marketer than those involved in discrete exchanges. Further, trust and commitment were found to lead to relationship satisfaction, product satisfaction, and store satisfaction.

 

CONSUMER BEHAVIOR AND NON-CONVENTIONAL HEALTHCARE CHOICE

Margaret K. Hogg, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

Vincent-Wayne Mitchell, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

Sally K-L Chung, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

How consumers make healthcare choices is a relatively unexplored area of consumer behavior research in the UK. From a review of the literature a six-stage conceptual model of the determinants of alternative healthcare choice is developed and partly validated using empirical evidence from focus groups, a questionnaire survey, and in-depth interviews which explored healthcare choices among Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) users. The results confirm earlier findings about the motives and socio-demographic characteristics of consumers who use non-conventional medicines and provide insights into the influence of additional factors such as information acquisition, health locus of control, and the effects of risk on consumers’ healthcare choices.

 

PERCEIVED RISK: ISSUES OF DEFINITION AND MEASUREMENT FOR CONSUMER RESEARCH

Vincent-Wayne Mitchell, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

Margaret K. Hogg, University of Manchester Institute o Science and Technology

This paper examines the relationship between content theories of motivation and perceived risk in consumer behaviour. Its tenet is that consumers’ risk perceptions are based upon their needs and motivations, and the paper argues that current measures and conceptualizations of risk are oversimplistic. Like Cox (1967), we argue that the nature of the risk perceived should be a function of the nature of the buying goals. Yet the majority of the consumer behaviour studies report unidimensional and uni-item measures of risk. Given the complexity of psychological and social consequences, we suggest such measures are inadequate for representing and measuring the risk concept. Using more detailed multi-item measures relating to the purchase motivations involved increases the conceptual richness of perceived risk and improves its actionability and meaningfulness to respondents and marketing practitioners alike.

 

INFORMATION LOAD: A CONTINGENCY FRAMEWORK

Gary Hunter, University of Kentucky

This paper offers a contingency framework of information load. Within this framework, internal and external variables are suggested that affect the level of information consumers can process efficiently. The internal variables examined include need for cognition, polychronic time usage, level of product involvement, and experience with information. The external variables suggested that affect information processing capability include background noise, time constraints, and frame of mind. Quantity, as well as quality of information is asserted to affect information load. These variables are posited to have individual as well as interactive effects on the information processing capability of consumers.

 

CREATING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES FOR WEAK AND LESSER-KNOWN BRANDS BY A FOREIGN COUNTRY-OF- ORIGIN AND FOREIGN BRANDING

Myung-Soo Jo, Griffith University-Gold Coast, Australia

This paper examines the effects of a foreign country-of-origin, that has a higher quality reputation than the original country-of-origin of brands. Three studies are conducted based on attitude accessibility and information integration theories, and identify effective image transformation strategies for weak and lesser-known brands. The studies show that the emphasis of a quality foreign country-of-origin through a vivid presentation of the information or/and adding a foreign name causes remarkably different perceived-quality changes for weak and strong brands: dramatic perceived-quality enhancements for weak brands, yet a moderate enhancement or even a discounting for strong brands. Implications of the findings and future research directions are discussed.

 

MODEL MOMS: ADS AS PRIMES OF GENDER STEREOTYPES

Gita Venkataramani Johar, Columbia University

C. Page Moreau, Columbia University

We hypothesize that female role portrayals in advertising activate gender stereotypes and result in unintended stereotypical judgments regarding women. Results from a priming experiment (Experiment 1) show that ads depicting women in stereotypical (i.e., homemaker) roles result in more (less) stereotypical trait judgments of an ambiguously described target woman compared to control ads among subjects with a low (medium) tendency to trait stereotype. The contrast effect among medium tendency subjects was explained by their lower levels of confidence in their beliefs versus high tendency subjects (Study 2) and by their conscious correction of their judgments when they have cognitive capacity and are aware of the priming context (Experiment 3).

 

WINNING OFF THE FIELD! AN EXPLORATORY INVESTIGATION INTO SEGMENTATION OF THE SPORT MARKET

Melissa Johnson, Louisiana State University

Jane Summers, University of Southern Queensland

A more detailed understanding of individual differences in fans, likely participation levels, attendance rates, and general consumption behaviors of target markets is becoming an economic necessity for sport organizations. The purpose of this research is to conduct an exploratory investigation into the segmentation of the sport marketing using a generalized consumer sample rather than a sport-specific group. One interesting direction of this study is the inclusion of sport consumption as a segmentation variable of the sport market itself. Consumption of, and involvement in, sport may be the most underdeveloped segmentation variable in this area. Cluster analysis was used to identify major sport market segments. These segments were defined by demographic, psychographic, symbolic, and experiential characteristics. An extension of this study is currently examining micro-segments within the cluster groups identified here. Further work in this area should build on refining the level of sport involvement variables found to be important in this study.

 

PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM TWO EXPERIMENTS ON THE DELAYED ATTITUDINAL EFFECTS OF DIRECT CONSUMER PREMIUMS

Joseph M. Jones, North Dakota State University

Two studies investigate the delayed attitudinal effects of two levels (higher and lower) of direct consumer premium complementary linkage. These studies extend previous research on strategy developments for sales promotion and examine direct consumer premium characteristics which might build long-term brand value. Findings from the both studies provide empirical support to the assertions that higher complementary linkage direct consumer premiums (e.g., free razor blades attached to cans of shaving cream) stimulate more enduring attitudinal effects in postpromotion time periods than lower complementary linkage ones (e.g., free razor blades attached to cans of colas).

 

RETAIL THERAPY: CONSUMERS’ SHOPPING CURES FOR NEGATIVE MOODS

Jacqueline J. Kacen, University of Michigan, Dearborn

"Retail therapy," the phenomenon in which consumers buy things to make themselves feel better, is examined in this study of consumer purchases. Previous research has shown that emotions play a key role in many consumer purchase decisions. This study looked at what consumers buy, and why they buy these items, in order to relieve a negative mood. Based on the findings from interviews with 42 adults, three categories of products are purchased with more frequency by bad mood shoppers: clothing and accessories, electronic products such as CDs, video games, or stereo equipment, and food. It is surmised that these three categories of products are chosen for their ability to enhance self-image, distract attention, or provide psychological nurturing. Gender differences in consumer purchases are also noted.

 

VARIANCE IN THE SERVICE ENCOUNTER: RETAILERS’ TREATMENT OF ADOLESCENT AND ADULT SHOPPERS

Abe Kassin, Rutgers University

Sarah Klamer, Rutgers University

Brett Sanders, Rutgers University

Greta Pennell, Rutgers University

This naturalistic field study examined retail service encounters of child-child and child-adult shopping pairs. Qualitative and quantitative data from observations at specialty clothing stores in five New Jersey malls revealed a clear pattern of difference in terms of the level and quality of servce provided. Although child-child pairs were approached by sales staff significantly sooner than child-adult pairs, offers of assistance were shorter in duration and more perfunctory in manner. Implications for retailing and sales staff training is discussed.

 

SEEING THROUGH THE EYES OF THE COLOR-BLIND SHOPPER: INSIGHTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSUMER RESEARCH

Carol Felker Kaufman, Rutgers University

Traditional consumer behavior theory incorporates the examination, analysis, and the application of perceptual theory to marketing stimuli. Within the confines of that theory, potential shoppers are thought to be able to select, organize, and interpret information in a reasonably similar fashion. Recent studies on the effects of color (Meyers-Levy and Peracchio 1995) demonstrate that attention to color may utilize resources needed for information processing, distracting the viewer’s attention rather than enhancing it. The present paper argues that the viewer’s color capability may additionally confound the enhancing effects of color. A descriptive review of color-blindness and color-deficiency is presented as background for a proposed research agenda which builds upon the considerable experimental tradition of color psychology.

 

CONSUMER SOCIALIZATION: A RENEWED AGENDA FOCUSED ON ADOLESCENTS

Susan J. Knight, University of California, Irvine

Consumer socialization research has produced a steady stream of contributions since the early 1970s, most recently concentrating on learning processes in childhood. The field has not reached its potential due to its reliance on stage development theories, which limits both the variables and subjects of inquiry. A renewed agenda is proposed that (1) broadens the realm of inquiry; (2) takes a multi-process developmental approach; (3) suggests appropriate methods; (3) proposes a new model of consumer socialization suggested by emerging theory; and (4) shows why adolescence exaggerates all the socialization variables of interest, and therefore is the perfect target of inquiry.

 

MOTIVATION, CAPACITY AND OPPORTUNITY AS DETERMINANTS OF INFORMATION PROCESSING: A MAGNITUDE ESTIMATION PROCEDURE

Ton A.A.A. Kuylen, Tilburg University

Theo B.C. Poiesz, Tilburg University

Henry S. J. Robben, Nijenrode University

In the present study, motivation, capacity, and opportunity (MOA) as determinants of information processing are assessed in a study using advertisements as stimuli. The ads are constructed such that they fill the four cells of a 2 x 2 design, with motivation and capacity as the manipulated variables. Opportunity is set at a particular exposure level. Advertisements and exposure level were predetermined in elaborate pilot studies. The MOA variables are measured with the help of magnitude estimation. A principal components analysis revealed the expected MOA structure. Several analyses are reported. In one analysis, the advertisements and the motivation, capacity, and opportunity factors are related as expected. In a validation analysis, the relation of the factor scores for the three MOA domains with a number of criterion variables is investigated. The pattern of results validates the relationship between motivation, opportunity, and capacity with a number of dependent variables.

 

COMMUNICATION PATTERNS OF FOUR CULTURAL GROUPS

Wei-Na Lee, University of Texas, Austin

Marye Tharp, University of Texas, Austin

Carrie La Ferle, University of Texas, Austin

In order to effectively target ethnic consumers, advertisers need to understand the influence culture has on the amount and type of media used by different ethnic groups. This study examines the effects culture has on the communication patterns of four different ethnic groups in the United States. The findings suggest that ethnicity does have an impact on both the type and the amount of media used, as well as the amount of advertising that is discussed by consumers. Implications for advertisers are addressed and future research areas are suggested.

 

DEFINING EMPATHY: THE EMPATHIC PROCESS AND ADVERTISING

Carrie La Ferle, University of Texas, Austin

This paper aims to tackle the ambiguous definition of "empathy" in search of conceptual clarity. To this end, the origination of the word is reviewed. Empathy is distinguished from other constructs, emotional responses, and similar processes. Methodological problems in measuring empathy are discussed. It is suggested that empathy is a process under which many emotions can be evoked and experienced, including ones that are positive or negative in nature. Implications for advertisers are considered and directions for future research on empathy are suggested.

 

IS A PICTURE WORTH A THOUSAND PURCHASES? A STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF COLOR, PRESENTATION, AND SCENT ON THE INTENTION TO PURCHASE CUT FLOWERS

Bridget K. Behe, Michigan State University

Kathleen T. Lacher, Georgia Southwestern University

Investigations of consumer preferences in color selection of roses found that men preferred red over other colors and women preferred peach. Scent is a powerful motivator for some non-floral products (e.g., baked goods, chocolate). Flowers are often marketed in print and electronic media, eliminating some sensory evaluation of the products offered. The objective of this study was to investigate consumers’ willingness to purchase flower arrangements based on flower color combinations (bold/pastel), floral scent (present/not present in room), and presentation (live flowers/photographs). Of the three factors, only presentation had a significant affect on purchase intention. Pictures generated higher purchase intention than live flowers. This may be attributable to a subject’s imagination.

 

A CROSS-NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF CONSUMER ETHNOCENTRISM

G. Tomas M. Hult, Florida State University

Bruce D. Keillor, Southwest Missouri State University

Barbara A. Lafferty, Florida State University

As the business environment becomes increasingly globalized, the need to have measurement instruments that are reliable and valid when applied cross-culturally becomes crucial. The purpose of our study was to assess the reliability and validity of the consumer ethnocentrism construct and the corresponding CETSCALE measurement (Shimp and Sharma 1987) across cross-national samples. To provide an assessment of the robustness of the consumer ethnocentrism framework, socially desirable response bias and gender are used as potential moderator variables when consumer ethnocentrism is measured in a cross-cultural context. Based on samples from Japan, the U.S., and Sweden, the results indicate that the CETSCALE is unidimensional, internally consistent, and exemplifies a high level of discriminant validity when compared with the social desirability scale. However, social desirability bias and gender were found to affect levels of consumer ethnocentrism when comparing the responses from the three samples.

 

A FRAMEWORK OF REVERSE ACCULTURATION

Wenling Amber Chen, National Chen-Chi University, Taiwan

Wei-Na Lee, The University of Texas, Austin

The growing ethnic diversity has impacted the American society in many ways. However, the Anglo- Americans’ reciprocal accommodation to minorities and ethnic cultures, which can be referred to as "reverse acculturation," has rarely been explored. The objectives of this paper, therefore, are to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the process of reverse acculturation and provide information for future academic research as well as managerial application in the area of marketing communication in a multicultural environment. Specifically, a qualitative investigation was carried out to refine a proposed working framework for Anglo-Americans’ reverse acculturation process.

 

A MODEL FOR PREDICTING CONTRAST AND ASSIMILATION EFFECTS IN BRAND ALLIANCES: THE CASE OF DUAL BRANDING

Aron M. Levin, Washburn University

Irwin P. Levin, University of Iowa

A model of context effects in brand evaluation is developed in which both contrast processes and assimilation processes are assumed to be operating concurrently. The contrast component is activated by direct comparisons of attributes shared by the target and context brands. The assimilation component is activated when consumers infer unknown properties of the target from known properties of the context. Linking brands together through a strategic alliance such as dual branding serves to emphasize the assimilation component. The model is supported by experimental tests comparing context effects for varying levels of target ambiguity with and without such brand linkages.

 

PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARD ADVERTISING: MORE POSITIVE THAN YOU THINK

Pamela M. Lowrey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sharon Shavitt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

James E. Haefner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A survey was conducted to assess the general public’s personalized attitudes toward advertisingChow people feel advertising affects them personally. The results indicate that Americans tend to enjoy the ads they see, and they tend to find advertising generally informative and useful in guiding their decision making. And while they do not generally trust advertising, they tend to feel more confident in ad claims for the products that they buy. Finally, they do not generally support increased government regulation of advertising. These findings stand in contrast to other recent surveys that have painted a more negative picture of public attitudes toward advertising.

 

CREDIT CARDS REVISITED: INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AS CONSUMERS

Carole Makela, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Shari Thorson, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Five years ago credit card usage by international students at a major land grant university was studied (Punjavat, 1992). With subsequent aggressive credit card marketing targeted to college students in the United States and greater availability of cards in other countries, it was appropriate to replicate the 1992 study. Data collected in 1992 and 1997 are compared to profile international students, their credit card knowledge, experiences, attitudes, and practices, and study longitudinal changes.

 

PRODUCT EMOTIONALITY, EMOTIONAL INVOLVEMENT, AND PRODUCT INVOLVEMENT: CONSTRUCT DEVELOPMENT AND EMPIRICAL TESTING

Colleen McCracken, University of Cincinnati

Karen A. Machleit, University of Cincinnati

This research investigates the value of the construct, "product emotionality." Two phases of research were conducted for this study. Phase one explores product emotionality as a predictor of memory using McCracken’s (1996) original product emotionality scale. Product emotionality and product involvement are investigated with respect to memory for ad claims. Results suggest that product emotionality and product involvement are unique constructs, each exhibiting different effects on memory. Phase two seeks to further refine the measure for product emotionality and to replicate results found in phase one. Additionally, a scale for emotional involvement is developed and subjected to empirical testing in phase two. Phase two assesses the different effects of product emotionality, emotional involvement, and product involvement as predictors of memory.

 

CONSUMER PROCESSING OF INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING

Byeong-Joon Moon, University of Connecticut

The heuristics that have been studied extensively in foreign product consumption are those related to country-of-origin and consumer ethnocentrism. However, there is limited comprehensive knowledge about the roles of cross-national heuristics in processing of foreign advertising. This study provides a new constructCconsumers’ country attitudeCand integrates it into the framework of the roles of cross-national heuristicsCconsumers’ country attitudes, consumer ethnocentrism, and country-of-origin perceptionsCin processing of foreign advertising. Research will be conducted to examine how these cross-national heuristics affect consumers’ responses toward foreign advertising.

 

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN RESPONSE TO EMOTIONALLY CHARGED RADIO ADVERTISING APPEALS: THE ROLE OF AFFECT INTENSITY AND GENDER

David J. Moore, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Hong C. Chen, Grand Valley State

Wynd Harris, Quinnipiac College

William J. Qualls, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Two Studies were conducted using subjects who were classified as high or low on the Affect Intensity Measurement (AIM) scale. In Study I subjects were exposed to either a strong or a weak negative emotional radio advertising appeal. High AIM individuals reported stronger emotional responses and perceived the ad to be more painful than Low AIM subjects only when exposed to the strong emotional ad. In Study II, although high AIMs expressed more intense emotions in response to questions about dieting and sporting activities, women showed signficantly stronger affective reactions only in response to female-oriented issues like dieting. No Affect Intensity X Gender interactions were observed.

 

COUCH CONSUMPTION: THE QVC SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

Elaine D. Moore, Rutgers University

Barbara B. Stern, Rutgers University

This paper focuses on the motivations of home shoppers who purchase from shopping networks (QVC and HSN). The motives are conceptualized as a multidimensional blend of utilitarian and hedonic outcomes rather than as a binary opposition of one versus the other. The paper presents an exploratory study of teleshoppers accessed by downloading anonymous postings from a QVC website ("Conversations"). The transcripts reveal word-of-mouth communication with no researcher interpolation, allowing a unique glimpse of spontaneous consumer thoughts. Analysis by the researchers identifies seven utiliarian and hedonic themes: quality, value, convenience ("QVC"), entertainment, education, parasocial relationships, nd sense of community.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF PRODUCTS IN DIFFERENT PRODUCT CATEGORIES: WHICH PRODUCT DIMENSIONS DETERMINE CATEGORY MEMBERSHIP?

Kaj P. N. Morel, Delft University of Technology

Jan P. L. Schoormans, Delft University of Technology

This study aims at identifying the product dimensions that consumers use to categorize products. Furthermore, the relationship is examined between these product dimensions and the level of inclusiveness at which the product categorization process takes place. Respondents performed several product grouping tasks. By means of a thinking aloud procedure the motives underlying respondents’ product classifications were elicited. Content analysis revealed 19 dimensions related to function, form, usage, usage situation, user, construction, and quality. At higher levels of inclusiveness, product classification was predominantly based on function, usage, and usage situation; at lower levels form, user, construction, and quality were the significant dimensions.

 

OLFACTION AND CONSUMER PROCESSING OF BRAND INFORMATION

Maureen Morrin, Boston University

S. Ratneshwar, University of Connecticut

A preliminary study investigated the impact of pleasant and unpleasant ambient odors on consumer processing of brand stimuli. Subjects in both the pleasant and unpleasant odor conditions rated brands more favorably than did those in the unscented condition. Only subjects in the pleasant condition expended additional processing efforts to form on-line evaluations of unfamiliar brand stimuli and exhibited superior recall and recognition for these brands. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

 

DECISION DELAY AS A MECHANISM FOR COPING WITH NEGATIVE DECISION-RELATED EMOTION

Marlene D. Morris, Duke University

Mary Frances Luce, University of Pennsylvania

This paper addresses the concept of consumer decision avoidance, particularly in a high velocity product environmentCone in which the technology of the product is evolving at a rapid rate. Several environmental factors (conflict, uncertainty, availability of information, predictability) and emotional factors (anticipated regret, confidence, stress) are examined to assess their effect on purchase delay. Results of a study show that the amount of available information influences the likelihood of delay, with more information reducing delay. Available information also affects anticipated regret. Higher levels of decision conflict are found to increase negative emotions (stress, anticipated regret). Higher levels of these emotions as well as lower levels of confidence are significantly correlated with delay.

 

A LITTLE LEARNING IS A DANGEROUS THING: THE ROLE OF EXISTING SKILL AND TASK SIMILARITY IN LEARNING COMPUTER SOFTWARE

Ashesh Mukherjee, University of Texas, Austin

Thomas Burnham, University of Texas, Austin

Relatively few marketing studies have investigated issues related to consumer learning of skills in product usage. In this paper, we investigate some unexplored barriers to skill learning, with special reference to the learning of computer software. Specifically, we use the concept of transfer to argue that two different barriers to learning are faced by consumers who have low or medium levels of skill in related tasks. While the learning of low skill consumers is inhibited by lack of transfer, that of medium skill consumers is inhibited by inappropriate transfer. The results of an initial experiment indicate some support for this thesis and also provide direction for future research.

 

RESPONSE MODE INFLUENCES ON ATTRIBUTE WEIGHT AND PREDICTIVE ABILITY WHEN LINEAR MODELS ARE NOT CERTAIN TO BE ROBUST

Richard D. Johnson, University of Alberta

Jordan Louvierre, University of Sydney

G. Douglas Olsen, University of Calgary

Joffre Swait, University of Florida

Recent work suggests that judgment and choice based tasks will result in comparable ability to predict choice behavior. However, two caveats may be applied to this research: (1) consideration has not been given to conditions under which judgment and choice have been hypothesized to use different mental processes, and (2) the task used to assess predictive validity would poorly discriminate between different mathematical models. This study reviews literature regarding judgments and choices; presents an experiment that permits direct comparison of attribute weights produced by judgments that should elicit different mental processes than choices; and, uses a predictive validity test to examine which, if any, of the tasks better predicts to an external set of data. Results suggest that attribute weights associated with judgment and choice tasks are substantially different and would result in considerably different managerial implications. Hold-out data revealed that the choice-based model exhibited much better fit than the judgment task when predicting to an independent set of data.

 

AGE DIFFERENCES IN THE EFFECTS OF PATIENT INVOLVEMENT WITH TREATMENT DECISIONS AND OF CONSUMERS’ GENERAL OPINIONS ABOUT PHYSICIANS ON CONSUMER INFERENCES IN HEALTH CARE

Manuel C.F. Pontes, Farleigh Dickinson University

Nancy M.H. Pontes, New York University

The results of this research demonstrate that the influence of patient involvement with treatment decisions on inferences about physician ability and accountability is contingent upon the age of the consumer. Younger subjects (18-24 years) were less influenced by patient involvement and more influenced by their prior opinions about the general quality of physician care than were older subjects (25-55 years). These results suggest that it may be unwise to exclusively use college undergraduates as experimental subjects for health-care decision research because the results obtained with these subjects may not always generalize to older consumers.

 

CONTEXTUAL INFLUENCES ON HAPPINESS: INCORPORATING SEQUENCE CHARACTERISTICS IN THE RANGE- FREQUENCY MODEL

Julie R. Irwin, New York University

Raj Raghunathan, New York University

Perhaps the most prominent example of a judgmental theory that stresses the role of context in determining level of happiness is the range-frequency model. While the model has been shown to be robust, previous researchers have failed to incorporate influence of sequence characteristics in it. In this paper, we test for the influence of improving versus worsening sequences on happiness from future events and, for the first time, replicate the predictions of the range-frequency model in a marketing context. We hypothesize and demonstrate that, for identical future experiences, improving sequences will produce lower levels of happiness than will worsening sequences.

 

EFFECTS OF COMPARATIVE ADVERTISING ON THE ACCESSIBILITY OF EXCLUDED BRANDS

John Story, University of Colorado, Boulder

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of comparative advertising on recall of those brands not mentioned in the ad. A part-list cueing effect is proposed as the specific mechanism affecting brand recall and an attempt is made to extend our understanding nd provide a theoretical explanation of part-list cueing effects. While previous work in this area focused on recall to measure cueing effects, this paper utilizes response latencies as a more direct measure.

 

DOES "HAGGLE FREE" PRICING WORK?

Rajneesh Suri, Drexel University

Rajesh Manchanda, University of Manitoba

Fixed price offers (vs. price discount promotions) on products have been gaining popularity with marketing practitioners. However, the debate about the effectiveness of fixed price offers ensues with the marketing theorists. Unfortunately no prior research has explored and explained the effectiveness of such fixed price promotions. This research presents a conceptualization to explain the effectiveness of fixed price promotions and presents empirical evidence to show that the perception of quality, sacrifice, and value of a product are significantly different between the fixed price and price discount promotions. Overall, the results showed that consumers’ perception of quality and value of the product were higher when price was presented as a fixed price format (vs. a price discount). Furthermore, compared to a price promotion the perception of sacrifice decreased when price was presented as a fixed price offer.

 

EFFECTS OF CONSUMERS’ MATHEMATICS ANXIETY ON THEIR PROCESSING OF PRICE INFORMATION

Rajneesh Suri, Drexel University

Kent B. Monroe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

It is quite apparent that price, a numeric aspect of product information, at times requires simple calculations and comparisons with either competitors’ prices or a price in memory to arrive at the evaluation of the sale offer. Research in psychology argues that even if calculations are simple, they are still a source of mathematics anxiety. Based on these arguments this research develops a conceptual framework which predicts the effects of math anxiety on the processing of price information for two price levels of a product. The results convincingly show that consumers’ math anxiety not only influences the processing of price information but also that it differentially influences the processing at different price levels. Though math anxiety cannot be controlled by marketers, this study shows that it is still an important variable which may effect the processing of price information by consumers.

 

MODELING CONSUMER REACTIONS TO AMBIGUITY: KNOWLEDGE, ACCOUNTABILITY, CONTROL, AND AMBIGUITY SOURCE

Kimberly A. Taylor, Florida International University

Ambiguity abounds in many marketing decision contexts. Consumers frequently make decisions in which the likelihoods of the various outcomes are not known with certainty. Yet, there is still no comprehensive theory as to how, when, and why the presence of ambiguity affects decision making. Moreover, most research on ambiguity attitudes looks only at choices made and not at the reasoning behind the choices. This paper classifies the various types of ambiguity discussed in the literature and presents a descriptive model of the decision processes under two of these definitions. Focus groups and an experimental study supported the hypotheses.

 

ATTRIBUTIONS AND THEIR ROLE IN EVALUATING CHANNEL MEMBER SATISFACTION AND FUTURE INTENTIONS IN EXCHANGE RELATIONSHIPS

Michael Tsiros, Washington University

This paper examines the influence of attributions to evaluating an exchange relationship in a marketing channel context. More specifically, it examines how the locus and stability of a cause influence the level of perceived performance, saisfaction, and future of the exchange relationship. Attribution theory has been successfully adopted in the consumer behavior literature but has not found similar levels of interest in the marketing channel and relationship marketing literatures. In this paper, insights from attribution theory and consumer behavior are brought together to examine the evaluation of exchange relationships. Several hypotheses are derived from these literatures. In addition, several theoretical and managerial implications are discussed and future research directions are suggested.

 

ACROSS- VERSUS WITHIN-CLASS COMPARISON ADVERTISING: INSIGHTS INTO PRESTIGE CLASS ANCHORING

Stuart Van Auken, California State University, Chico

Arthur J. Adams, University of Louisville

While the literature on comparison advertising recognizes the utility of reference points, there has been no investigation of across-class claims using a more "valued" product class as a reference frame. To address this issue, advertising manipulations were conducted. They show that comparisons with a leader in a more prestigious class within the same overall product category result in an increase in perceived value for the sponsoring advertiser. Such associations are shown to be superior to comparison ads featuring within-class differentiations. This study develops the theory and results of across-class associations and addresses its best conditions and implications.

 

METHOD MATTERS: AN INVESTIGATION INTO DATA COLLECTION METHOD EFFECTS ON BUYER PERCEPTIONS AND DECISIONS

Judy A. Wagner, University of Texas at Arlington

Susan Bardi Kleiser, University of Texas at Arlington

This research strives to broaden the understanding of the conditions under which data collection method may have a significant impact on outcome variables. In a field study, we examined the influence of method on industrial buyers’ purchase decisions and perceptions by comparing responses from analogous computer-disk and paper-and-pencil surveys. A second examination of method effects for an identical experimental context involved university students as respondents. The results from these two studies highlight the need to consider the possible effect of data collection method on proposed theoretical relationships when designing a study.

 

ON BECOMING A WOMAN: FROM ADVERTISING LITERACY TO SYMBOLIC CONSUMPTION OF TEENAGE TRANSGENDERS IN THAILAND

Kritsadarat Wattanasuwan, Thammasat University, Bangkok

Richard Elliott, University of Oxford, England

An interpretive research approach via ethnographic fieldwork is employed to achieve an in-depth understanding of symbolic meanings among a group of teenage transgenders in Thailand. Based on the theoretical foundations that consumption is a central activity in which the person actively consumes symbolic meanings from products and advertising to create, maintain, and communicate her/his self-identities as well as to locate her/himself in the social, culturally-constituted world. The findings show how the group uses consumption symbolically to reveal and express a female soul that is housed in their material male body. Several emergent themes are also found.

 

THE EVOLVING SELF, COPING, AND THE MEANING OF POSSESSIONS IN WESTERN SOCIETY

Jennifer Wideman, Duke University

This paper examines and relates three bodies of literature: the self, coping, and the meaning of possessions. It is proposed that there is a possible mehanism through which individuals are better able to cope both with the difficulties associated with understanding and defining the current self and with adapting their understanding and defining of the self through time. This mechanism involves the manner in which brands, products, and possessions are used to help individuals to cope with the difficulties associated with defining themselves both currently and through time. An outline for further investigation of these ideas is provided.

 

A THEORETICAL MODEL OF CHILDREN’S RELATIVE INFLUENCE

Laura A. Williams, San Diego State University

Alvin C. Burns, Louisiana State University

Sociological changes in the American family have positioned children to wield greater power in purchase decisions. Although past descriptive research has confirmed that children are an important source of power in the household, research has not explored the conceptual justification for the variations in children’s relative influence. To fill this gap in the literature, this research utilizes social power theory and social exchange theory to develop a conceptual model of children’s relative influence. The conceptual model was tested with two samples of children aged 8-11 and their mothers. Results of these analyses indicated that observed variations in children’s relative influence may be due to children’s active influence, children’s passive influence, decision history, and preference intensity. Theoretical and practical implications for consumer research and directions for future research are provided.

 

LOYALTY PROGRAMS AND CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IN AUSTRALIA

Amanda Liddy, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Loyalty programs are '..long term strategies directed at identifying and serving your most profitable customers, and, over time, converting more and more of your casual customers into loyal customers’ (Friedrich 1993, p.36). Since 1980, there has been a rapid proliferation of programs launched in Australia in the hope of gaining consumers’ loyalty to purchase specific products and services. This paper defines loyalty as a two-dimensional construct, encompassing both attitude and behaviour. It considers how consumers respond to different loyalty programs by measuring their attitudinal loyalty towards various aspects of the program. It also measures a number of behavioural variables as aspects of loyalty. These aspects are then combined in a model to assess the overall loyalty of consumers in four different types of loyalty programs.

 

THE EFFECTS OF SOURCE CREDIBILITY ON BRAND CHOICE AND ATTITUDES: THE REVERSE SLEEPER EFFECT

Baba Shiv, University of Iowa

The sleeper effect describes a phenomenon where the persuasiveness of a message is low immediately following exposure to the message but increases with the passage of time. This effect has been conceptualized to arise due to a low-credibility source being "associated" with the message immediately after exposure to the message but getting "dissociated" from the message after a time delay. This paper demonstrates that, under certain processing conditions, one could obtain a reverse sleeper effect with the "dissociation" being present even immediately following message exposure and the "association" occurring after the elapse of sufficient time required to elaborate on the advertising claims. Results of an experiment indicated that choice of the brand advertised with a low-credibility source was significantly higher when the processing was less extensive than when it was more exensive in nature. A different pattern of results was obtained with brand attitudes as the dependent measure.

 

SOCIAL CAPITAL’S CONTRIBUTION TO RURAL INSHOPPING BEHAVIOR

Nancy J. Miller, Iowa State University

The major contribution of this study is in the presentation of a statistical model for determining rural community social factors that partially explains why some consumers will strive to shop locally. Using social capital theory to effectively explain economic activity, this linear structural equation model is offered for further testing and development. Assessment of the rural community model provides rural retailers with information for planning benefits and opportunities that are superior to offerings from rivals surrounding the local market place and for developing profitable exchange relationships with local consumers and noncompeting businesses.

 

PREDICTORS, OUTCOMES AND VIOLATIONS OF TRUST IN CONSUMER/SELLER RELATIONSHIPS

Tiffany Barnett, Duke University

The goal of this paper is to outline a framework for understanding and defining trust, its antecedents and consequences in consumer/seller relationships. It was predicted that consumers’ perceptions of trust would be positively influenced by their general propensity to trust as well as their judgments of a seller’s ability, benevolence, and integrity. Secondarily, it was expected that consumers would be more likely to remain in the relationship if a trust violation could be attributed to situational vs. dispositional factors and that high trust consumers would be more likely to make these situational attributions. These hypotheses were tested in two experiments which provide support for the proposed framework and the role of trust as a positive influence on attributional judgments and relationship retention.

----------------------------------------