Cynics and Skeptics: Consumer Dispositional Trust

Amanda Helm, University of Missouri
ABSTRACT - This study investigated cynicism in a consumer context, using qualitative interviews in a grounded theory approach. Analysis revealed an underlying construct of consumer dispositional trust. Consumers generalize trust violations across various categories and see a generalized trust as part of their personality. Explorations of cynicism in the consumer context reflected a belief that companies lack integrity and a negative affect toward companies, with an emphasis on dishonesty or empty promises. Consumer cynicism is associated with disparaging and withdrawal behavior, precautions and retribution-seeking. Perhaps surprisingly, cynical consumers demonstrated very strong brand loyalty to the few companies they could trust.
[ to cite ]:
Amanda Helm (2004) ,"Cynics and Skeptics: Consumer Dispositional Trust", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 345-351.