The Influence of Postpurchase Consumer Affects on Repurchase Intentions

EXTENDED ABSTRACT - The location of the reference point affects the coding of outcomes as gains and losses (Kahneman 1992). In turn, this coding affects consumer satisfaction and regret owing to performance differences in evaluating positive and negative outcomes. Under the expectancy-disconfirmation model of satisfaction (e.g. Oliver 1980), individuals will be satisfied since the actual performance exceeded their expectations. However, recent research suggests that multiple comparison standards may influence consumer satisfaction (Fournier and Mick 1999; Oliver 1997). One alternative comparison standard is the outcome of the unchosen product or service. Nevertheless, when consumers are in a case involving more than two alternatives, it is uncertain which unchosen alternative that assumes the role of the reference point. In our daily life, multiple reference point may be available, and thus the subject may simultaneously confront some referents above, some at, and some below the focal outcome. Surprisingly, little is known regarding this phenomenon. This study thus focuses on the expectancy-disconfirmation paradigm and the equity theory (Adams 1965), which are the basic theories in satisfaction research. Most importantly, both theories base satisfaction judgments on comparison processes that can help understand the choice of reference points (Homburg, Krohmer, Cannon, and Kiedaisch 2002).



Citation:

Chien-Huang Lin and Wen-Hsien Huang (2005) ,"The Influence of Postpurchase Consumer Affects on Repurchase Intentions", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Yong-Uon Ha and Youjae Yi, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 314-315.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2005      Pages 314-315

THE INFLUENCE OF POSTPURCHASE CONSUMER AFFECTS ON REPURCHASE INTENTIONS

Chien-Huang Lin, National Central University, Taiwan

Wen-Hsien Huang, National Central University, Taiwan

EXTENDED ABSTRACT -

The location of the reference point affects the coding of outcomes as gains and losses (Kahneman 1992). In turn, this coding affects consumer satisfaction and regret owing to performance differences in evaluating positive and negative outcomes. Under the expectancy-disconfirmation model of satisfaction (e.g. Oliver 1980), individuals will be satisfied since the actual performance exceeded their expectations. However, recent research suggests that multiple comparison standards may influence consumer satisfaction (Fournier and Mick 1999; Oliver 1997). One alternative comparison standard is the outcome of the unchosen product or service. Nevertheless, when consumers are in a case involving more than two alternatives, it is uncertain which unchosen alternative that assumes the role of the reference point. In our daily life, multiple reference point may be available, and thus the subject may simultaneously confront some referents above, some at, and some below the focal outcome. Surprisingly, little is known regarding this phenomenon. This study thus focuses on the expectancy-disconfirmation paradigm and the equity theory (Adams 1965), which are the basic theories in satisfaction research. Most importantly, both theories base satisfaction judgments on comparison processes that can help understand the choice of reference points (Homburg, Krohmer, Cannon, and Kiedaisch 2002).

Actually, the same phenomenon also occurs during measurement of regrets. Consumers experience regret when an unchosen alternative would have yielded a better outcome than the chosen alternative (Sugden 1985). However, if two or more alternatives are unchosen, which one will be considered the comparison standard? Regret theory (e.g. Bell 1982; Loomes and Sugden 1982) does not provide any predictions. Only Tsiros (1998) investigated the influence of experienced regret on reference point selection. However, his findings in both experimental studies were somewhat contradictory. Specifically, a recent study by Abendroth (2001) emphasized that expectancy-disconfirmation can disentangle regret by examining the unique and combined effects from taking performance expectations and/or a preferred, unchosen alternative for comparison. This finding is quite interesting. Whether consumers use multiple reference points to measure their experienced regret is an interesting question. Since the formalization of the concept of regret or rejoicing is based on the comparison, the literature on social comparison theory (Festinger 1954) and temporal comparison theory (Albert 1977) may provide some guidance.

To develop a clear understanding of individual feelings about their satisfaction and regret relative to each referent, this study attempts to examine the choice of multiple reference points when assessing postpurchase satisfaction and regret in the context of a choice set comprising three alternatives.

Hypotheses

We test the following hypotheses:

H1 Satisfaction is assessed not only by the expected outcome but also by the similar-performing unchosen outcome.

H2 People select the similar-performing unchosen alternative as the reference point for calculating regret.

H3 In a threatening situation (the chosen alternative is much worse than the best-performing unchosen alternative), regret will be simultaneously assessed by the similar-performing unchosen alternative and the expected outcome. However, this condition occurs only when the chosen alternative is better than expected (because individuals can weight their absolute performance rather than relative performance to enhance their self-evaluation).

Method

Design. This study has a 2 (disconfirmation of expectations: positive vs. negative) x 3 (comparison with the unchosen alternative: favorable vs. unfavorable vs. mixed) between-subjects factorial design. Six experimental conditions were generated.

Procedure. Five hundred and seventy six EMBA and MBA students at three large national universities participated in the study. Similar to the procedures used by Tsiros (1998), students were randomly assigned to one of six treatment conditions. To control for potential order effects, the items measuring the dependent variables were ordered randomly.

Results

This study mainly aimed o measure actual consumer feelings of satisfaction and regret regarding their chosen outcomes relative to each referent. This objective was achieved through a series of multiple regression analyses, with satisfaction and regret as the two dependent measures, and the three relative performances as the independent variables (one was the relative performance between the chosen outcome and expected outcome; two were the relative performances generated by the chosen outcome compared with the similar-performing and dissimilar-performing unchosen alternatives, respectively).

For satisfaction, the chosen outcome relative to the expected outcome and the chosen outcome relative to the similar-performing unchosen alternative were both positive and statistically significant (p<.05) in all groups. The expected outcome and similar- performing unchosen alternative thus represent important reference points for consumer satisfaction. Thus, H1 was strongly supported. Specifically, on the one hand the chosen outcome relative to the similar-performing unchosen referent was greater (standardized coefficient beta=.327, .271, respectively) in the best-similar groups, and on the other hand the chosen outcome relative to the expected outcome was greater (standardized coefficient beta=.311, .248, respectively) in the worst-similar groups. This result is interesting and seems to reflect self-serving social comparisons (Klein 2001).

For regret, the chosen outcome was negative and statistically significant relative to the similar-performing unchosen alternative (p<.05) in all groups. The analytical results demonstrated that the similar-performing unchosen alternative is important predictor in experienced regret. Thus, H2 was supported. Furthermore, for the positive-worst-similar group, the relation between the chosen and expected outcomes was also significant (p<.05), and therefore, H3 was supported, too. It highlighted that subjects in the positive-worst-similar group with available self-resources tend to protect themselves from threatening social comparison situations.

Discussion

The results make several contributions to marketing theory. First, consumer satisfaction in relation to two reference pointsCexpected outcome and similar-performing unchosen alternative. Second, some of the evidence presented here clearly proves that the two referents were not equally related to satisfaction. When subjects faced more favorable comparisons with others, the similar-performing unchosen alternative had greater standardized regression weight, while when subjects faced unfavorable comparison with others, the expected outcome had greater weight. Finally, individuals generally select the similar-performing unchosen alternative as the reference point for calculating regret. However in a threatening performance comparison situation, the expected outcome will also serve as another comparison standard for regret, particularly when the chosen alternative exceeds expectations. This finding differs from previous research.

REFERENCES

Abendroth, Lisa J. (2001), "Disentangling Regret from Expectancy-Disconfirmation," Advances in Consumer Research, 28, 371-372.

Adams, J. Stacy (1965), "Inequity in Social Exchange," In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, (Vol. 2, pp. 267-300), New York: Academic Press.

Albert, Stuart (1977), "Temporal Comparison Theory," Psychological Review, 84, 485-503.

Bell, David E. (1982), "Regret in Decision Making Under Uncertainty," Operations Research, 30 (September-October), 961-981.

Festinger, Leon (1954), "A Theory f Social Comparison Processes," Human Relations, 7 (July), 117-140.

Fournier, Susan and David G. Mick (1999), "Rediscovering Satisfaction," Journal of Marketing, 63 (October), 5-23.

Homburg, Christian, Harley Krohmer, Joseph P. Cannon, and Ingo Kiedaisch (2002), "Customer Satisfaction in Transnational Buyer-Supplier Relationships," Journal of International Marketing, 10 (4), 1-29.

Kahneman, Daniel (1992), "Reference Points, Anchors, Norms, and Mixed Feelings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 51 (March), 296-312.

Klein, William (2001), "Post Hoc Construction of Self-performance and Other Performance in Self-Serving Social Comparison," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27 (June), 744-754.

Loomes, Graham and Robert Sugden (1982), "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice Under uncertainty," The Economic Journal, 92 (December), 805-824.

Oliver, Richard L. (1980), "A Cognitive Model of the Antecedents and Consequences of Satisfaction Decisions," Journal of Marketing Research, 17 (November), 460-469.

Oliver, Richard L. (1997), "SatisfactionCA Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Sugden, Robert (1985), "Regret, Recrimination and Rationality," Theory and Decision, 19 (July), 77-99.

Tsiros, Michael (1998), "Effect of Regret on Post-choice Valuation: The Case of More Than Two Alternatives," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 76 (October), 48-69.

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

Authors

Chien-Huang Lin, National Central University, Taiwan
Wen-Hsien Huang, National Central University, Taiwan



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2005



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