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Research Paper On Consumers

Curator: Praveen Kopalle

Modeling consumer behavior is an exciting area as it attempts to examine issues related to consumption and the behavior of consumers through the use of quantitative models that provide a paramorphic representation of an underlying process of consumer behavior.  Papers in the Journal of Consumer Research that have employed models have provided novel, interesting, and important insights regarding consumption and consumer behavior. In fact, many of the seminal papers in the area of marketing models were published in JCR, including some of the most cited papers in JCR.

Empirical and analytical models of consumer behavior complement the experimental, sociological, and survey-based approaches in three ways.  One, the results drawn from a laboratory experiment or field research typically form the basis for the underlying assumptions of quantitative models.  Second, the results of quantitative models demonstrate the real-world incidence and robustness of a phenomenon, and examine differences across consumer segments (latent or observed), over time, etc.  Third, the conclusions drawn from modeling papers set the stage for a more thorough investigation of an empirical or analytical finding.

The papers chosen for this curation have all made central contributions in enhancing our understanding of consumer behavior via quantitative models.  In the first paper selected, Winer (1986) develops and estimates (i) alternative models of reference price formation and (ii) incorporates the corresponding reference prices in a brand choice purchase probability model.  In this original paper, the author finds that, after controlling for the main effect of price, reference prices significantly impact consumers’ brand choice behavior.  In marketing, the “sticker shock” effect found in Winer (1986) spawned a large research sub-field on reference price effects, with particular emphasis on reference price formation processes, differential impact of “gains” and “losses,” implications for firms’ pricing strategies, Bayesian inference, etc.   

Another fundamental paper in modeling consumer behavior is that of Hauser and Wernerfelt (1990) who propose a two-stage process of consumer choice where a consideration set is first formed from a larger set of alternatives, followed by a purchase/consumption decision in the second stage.  In this analytic paper, the key aspects in both stages are the trade-offs a consumer faces with respect to the (i) cost of evaluative search and the expected incremental benefits of including an alternative in the consideration set, and (ii) incremental benefits expected at the consumption stage relative to the expected incremental decision costs.

The idea of consumers viewing alternatives as bundles of attributes and the corresponding modeling of consumer preferences among multi-attribute alternatives is a widely researched topic in consumer research.  Green and Srinivasan (1978) provide a thorough analysis of the use of conjoint analysis in consumer research by discussing the various issues in implementing conjoint analysis (such as alternative models of consumer preference, data collection alternatives, stimulus set construction and presentation, measurement scales for the dependent variable, estimation methods, reliability and validity of tests, etc.) and new developments in conjoint research (such as preference models, incorporating interaction effects, multi-stage consumer decision processes, componential segmentation, allocation of scarce resources, modeling of perception data, etc.).

McAlister (1982) proposes a dynamic attribute satiation model for variety seeking which suggests that preference for a product at time t is a function of the consumption history and the point of satiation.  Such a model explains various patterns of switching among brands over time by consumers. The author operationalizes the model by taking into consideration preference contributions of the attributes of a product and the attribute inventory level, then estimates the model using data collected over time, and shows the model superiority relative to those that ignore past choices.

More recently, Kamakura and Du (2012) question the traditional wisdom from economic analysis that consumers’ tastes will remain unchanged during times of recession or economic growth.  Based on repeated cross-sectional data of expenditures from 66,368 U.S. households spanning twenty years and covering over 30 major commodities, the authors find that, from a consumer taste point of view, more visible nonessential goods (e.g., apparel, jewelry, personal care, airfare, etc.) become relatively less desirable, while less visible goods (food at home, housing, prescription drugs, etc.) gain in relative desirability, during a recession relative to the baseline and vice-versa during times of economic growth. 

Hui, Bradlow, and Fader (2009) test the impact of three factors (time pressure, composition of the shopping basket, and the presence of other shoppers) that have been found to influence consumer decision making in laboratory experiments.  They do so using data collected via a path tracker system installed in a large supermarket store.  The authors not only provide external validity for the corresponding behavioral hypotheses but also show the differential strength of these effects.

The papers selected for this curation demonstrate the value of incorporating rich consumer insights into quantitative models as well as how quantitative models can provide insights that lay the ground for further inquiry using other disciplinary approaches. JCR aims to continue to publish impactful papers that use quantitative models to extend our knowledge about consumer behavior. The types of modeling papers that are best suited for JCR are those that are focused on consumers and consumption (vs. on firm level analyses or on other stakeholders).  These include (but are not limited to) (i) developing new tools to learn about consumers, (ii) testing behavioral assumptions with real world data, (iii) drawing testable conclusions about consumers and consumption, and (iv) quantifying effect sizes across people and over time.  What makes such models thought-provoking is that they involve an integrative understanding across different arenas including consumer psychology, economics, statistics, mathematics, etc. in order to address questions such as, “What is the relative impact of various attributes on consumer choice?”, “How do (should) consumers choose from a large set of alternatives?”, “What is the role of reference prices on consumer brand preference?”, and “What are the dynamics of consumers’ variety seeking behavior?”  Note that issues in these areas greatly benefit from an integrative/multi-disciplinary perspective, a hallmark of JCR.  Many marketing scholars have devoted considerable effort toward building models of consumer behavior with a goal of developing inspiring and noteworthy insights with respect to consumption.  Thus, via an interplay of disciplinary approaches, much can be learned about consumers and consumption.  Ultimately, by drawing on multiple paradigms, the vision is that we develop a much stronger, more thorough, and a more impactful base of consumer research.


A Reference Price Model of Brand Choice for Frequently Purchased Products
Russell S. Winer

A brand choice model that incorporates both reference and observed prices is proposed for frequently purchased products. The model is composed of a probability-of-purchase component and a reference-price-formation component. Empirical testing of the model using coffee UPC scanner panel data demonstrates that for two of the three brands, the model predicts probability of purchase better than do standard demand models that utilize only current observed brand prices.

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An Evaluation Cost Model of Consideration Sets
John R. Hauser 
Birger Wernerfelt 

If utility (net of price) varies by consumption occasion, the consideration set of a rational consumer will represent trade-offs between decision costs and the incremental benefits of choosing from a larger set of brands. If evaluating a brand decreases biases and uncertainty in perceived utility, the decision to evaluate a brand for inclusion in a consideration set is different from the decision to consider an evaluated brand. The decision to consume is, in turn, different from the decision to consider. This article provides analytical expressions for these decision criteria and presents four aggregate implications of the model: (1 ) distributions of consideration set sizes, (2) order-of-entry penalties, (3) dynamic advertising response, and (4) competitive promotion intensity.

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Conjoint Analysis in Consumer Research: Issues and Outlook
Paul E. Green
V. Srinivasan

Since 1971 conjoint analysis has been applied to a wide variety of problems in consumer research. This paper discusses various issues involved in implementing conjoint analysis and describes some new technical developments and application areas for the methodology. 

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A Dynamic Attribute Satiation Model of Variety-Seeking Behavior
Leigh McAlister

This paper presents a model of individual consumer choice for separate choice occasions. Contrary to the notion that each choice is essentially independent of its predecessors, dependence is proposed as the key to variety-seeking behavior. As an individual's consumption history evolves, the pattern of attribute accumulations changes, leading to preference for items rich in different attributes at different points in time. The model is operationalized using soft drink consumption diaries, and predicts choices better than a model that ignores choice dependence.

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How Economic Contractions and Expansions Affect Expenditure Patterns
Wagner A. Kamakura
Rex Yuxing Du

In this study, we attempt to understand how household budget allocations across various expenditure categories change when the economy is in recession or expansion. The common assumption is that a household's tastes would not change as a function of economic conditions and therefore any adjustments in expenditure patterns during economic contractions/expansions would simply be due to changes in the consumption budget. Standard economic models translate these budgetary effects into lateral movements along a set of fixed Engel curves, which relate category expenditure shares to total expenditures. We propose and test a conceptual framework based on the notion of relative consumption, which prescribes that, for any given total consumption budget, expenditure shares for positional goods/services will decrease during a recession, while shares for nonpositional goods/services will increase (i.e., shifting the entire Engel curve upward or downward, depending on the nature of the expenditure category and the economic conditions).

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Testing Behavioral Hypotheses Using an Integrated Model of Grocery Store Shopping Path and Purchase Behavior
Sam K. Hui
Eric T. Bradlow
Peter S. Fader

We examine three sets of established behavioral hypotheses about consumers' in-store behavior using field data on grocery store shopping paths and purchases. Our results provide field evidence for the following empirical regularities. First, as consumers spend more time in the store, they become more purposeful-they are less likely to spend time on exploration and more likely to shop/buy. Second, consistent with "licensing" behavior, after purchasing virtue categories, consumers are more likely to shop at locations that carry vice categories. Third, the presence of other shoppers attracts consumers toward a store zone but reduces consumers' tendency to shop there.

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Jonah Berger

People often share opinions and information with their social ties, and word of mouth has an important impact on consumer behavior. But what drives interpersonal communication and why do people talk about certain things rather than others? This article argues that word of mouth is goal driven and serves five key functions (i.e., impression management, emotion regulation, information acquisition, social bonding, and persuasion). Importantly, I suggest these motivations are predominantly self- (rather than other) serving and drive what people talk about even without their awareness. Further, these drivers make predictions about the types of news and information people are most likely to discuss. This article reviews the five proposed functions and well as how contextual factors (i.e., audience and communication channel) may moderate which functions play a larger role. Taken together, the paper provides insight into the psychological factors that shape word of mouth and outlines additional questions that deserve further study. © 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Joseph W. Alba | Elanor F. Williams

Thirty years ago, Hirschman and Holbrook (1982) advocated greater attention to hedonic consumption and the myriad ways in which consumers seek pleasure and enjoyment. A thorough review finds that the topic has much appeal and that consumer research has made significant progress toward understanding some of its parameters. However, many questions remain unanswered, particularly with regard to understanding the sources of pleasure, the manner in which consumers seek it, and the ways in which consumers might alter their hedonic consumption decisions to maximize pleasure and happiness. We assess three decades of research on hedonic consumption, emphasizing areas of greatest potential for future exploration. © 2012 Society for Consumer Psychology.


C. Whan Park | Andreas B. Eisingerich | Jason Whan Park

The present paper proposes a customer-brand relationships model and empirically tests the following: (1) brand-self distance and brand prominence as representing customers' attachment-aversion relationships (AA Relationships) with a brand, (2) key distinguishing differences between the AA Relationships measure and other alternative relationship measures (i.e., brand attachment, emotional valence and brand attitude strength) based on a set of dependent variables, (3) three key determinants of the AA Relationships and the underlying process between the AA Relationships and behavioral intentions and actual brand behaviors, and (4) customer age as moderating the customer-brand relationships specified in the nomological model of the AA Relationships. The results offer strong support for the unique and important contribution of the AA Relationships model as representing consumers' relationship valence with a brand and its salience. © 2012 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Kelly L. Haws | Karen Page Winterich | Rebecca Walker Naylor

The primary goal of this research is to conceptualize and develop a scale of green consumption values, which we define as the tendency to express the value of environmental protection through one's purchases and consumption behaviors. Across six studies, we demonstrate that the six-item measure we develop (i.e., the GREEN scale) can be used to capture green consumption values in a reliable, valid, and parsimonious manner. We further theorize and empirically demonstrate that green consumption values are part of a larger nomological network associated with conservation of not just environmental resources but also personal financial and physical resources. Finally, we demonstrate that the GREEN scale predicts consumer preference for environmentally friendly products. In doing so, we demonstrate that stronger green consumption values increase preference for environmentally friendly products through more favorable evaluations of the non-environmental attributes of these products. These results have important implications for consumer responses to the growing number of environmentally friendly products. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Vladas Griskevicius | Douglas T. Kenrick

Can we better understand modern consumer behavior by examining its links to our ancestral past? We consider the underlying motives for consumption and choice from an evolutionary perspective. We review evidence that deep-seated evolutionary motives continue to influence much modern behavior, albeit not always in obvious or conscious ways. These fundamental motives include: (1) evading physical harm, (2) avoiding disease, (3) making friends, (4) attaining status, (5) acquiring a mate, (6) keeping a mate, and (7) caring for family. We discuss how, why, and when these motives influence behavior, highlighting that many consumer choices ultimately function to help fulfill one or more of these evolutionary needs. An important implication of this framework is that a person's preferences, behaviors, and decision processes change in predictable ways depending on which fundamental motive is currently active. We discuss how consideration of evolutionary motives provides fertile ground for future consumer research, while also helping build bridges between consumer behavior, evolutionary biology, and other social sciences. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Brian Wansink | Pierre Chandon

We first choose what to eat and then we choose how much to eat. Yet as consumer psychologists, we understand food choice much better than food consumption quantity. This review focuses on three powerful drivers of food consumption quantity: 1) Sensory cues (how your senses react), 2) emotional cues (how you feel), and 3) normative cues (how you believe you are supposed to eat). These drivers influence consumption quantities partly because they bias our consumption monitoring-how much attention we pay to how much we eat. To date, consumption quantity research has comfortably focused on the first two drivers and on using education to combat overeating. In contrast, new research on consumption norms can uncover small changes in the eating environment (such as package downsizing, smaller dinnerware, and reduced visibility and convenience) that can be easily implemented in kitchens, restaurants, schools, and pub lic policies to improve our monitoring of how much we eat and to help solve mindless overeating. It is easier to change our food environment than to change our mind. © 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Dawn Iacobucci | Steven S. Posavac | Frank R. Kardes | Matthew J. Schneider | Deidre L. Popovich

© 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology. Some behavioral researchers occasionally wish to conduct a median split on a continuous variable and use the result in subsequent modeling to facilitate analytic ease and communication clarity. Traditionally, this practice of dichotomization has been criticized for the resulting loss of information and reduction in power. More recently, this practice has been criticized for sometimes producing Type I errors for effects regarding other terms in a model, resulting in a recommendation of the unconditional avoidance of median splits. In this paper, we use simulation studies to demonstrate more thoroughly than has been shown in the literature to date when median splits should not be used, and conversely, to provide nuance and balance to the extant literature regarding when median splits may be used with complete analytical integrity. For the scenario we explicate, the use of a median split is as good as a continuous variable. Accordingly, there is no reason to outright reject median splits, and oftentimes the median split may be preferred as more parsimonious.


Michel Tuan Pham

Consumer psychology faces serious issues of internal and external relevance. Most of these issues originate in seven fundamental problems with the way consumer psychologists plan and conduct their research-problems that could be called "the seven sins of consumer psychology." These seven "sins" are (1) a narrow conception of the scope of consumer behavior research; (2) adoption of a narrow set of theoretical lenses; (3) adherence to a narrow epistemology of consumer research; (4) an almost exclusive emphasis on psychological processes as opposed to psychological content; (5) a strong tendency to overgeneralize from finite empirical results, both as authors and as reviewers; (6) a predisposition to design studies based on methodological convenience rather than on substantive considerations; and (7) a pervasive confusion between "theories of studies" and studies of theories. Addressing these problems ("atoning for these sins") would greatly enhance the relevance of the field. However, this may require a substantial rebalancing of the field's incentives to reward actual research impact rather than sheer number of publications in major journals. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Derek D. Rucker | Zakary L. Tormala | Richard E. Petty | Pablo Briñol

This paper explores consumers' commitment to and conviction about their beliefs in the form of attitude certainty. Based on a review of past research, we present a new framework for understanding attitude certainty and how consumers' attitude certainty is shaped by their resisting or yielding to persuasive messages, or even by their reflections on the evidence supporting their attitudes. We propose that attitude certainty is formed and changed largely through an attribution-based reasoning process linked to a finite set of distinct appraisals. Our framework is used to both organize past research and offer guidance for future research endeavors. In addition, we distinguish our framework of appraisal-based attitude certainty from past models in attitudes and persuasion research that have referenced or taken note of the attitude certainty construct. Implications and future directions for the study of consumer behavior are discussed. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Aradhna Krishna | Norbert Schwarz

There has been a recent swell of interest in marketing as well as psychology pertaining to the role of sensory experiences in judgment and decision making. Within marketing, the field of sensory marketing has developed which explores the role of the senses in consumer behavior. In psychology, the dominant computer metaphor of information processing has been challenged by researchers demonstrating various manners in which mental activity is grounded in sensory experience. These findings are arduous to explain using the amodal model of the human mind. In this introduction, we first delineate key assumptions of the information processing paradigm and then discuss some of the key conceptual challenges posed by the research generally appearing under the titles of embodiment, grounded cognition, or sensory marketing. We then address the use of bodily feelings as a source of information; next, we turn to the role of context sensitive perception, imagery, and simulation in consumer behavior, and finally discuss the role of metaphors. Through this discourse, we note the contributions to the present special issue as applicable. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Joan Meyers-Levy | Barbara Loken

© 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology. Efforts to identify and understand gender differences have a long history that has sparked lively debate and generated much public interest. Although understanding gender differences is pivotal to consumer researchers and marketers, investigations into this issue by such individuals have been few in number, often weak in theory, and rather limited in progress made. This paper strives to reinvigorate such inquiry. We begin by describing four major theories of gender differences (socio-cultural, evolutionary, hormone-brain, and the selectivity hypothesis) and then assess relevant research from 2000 to 2013 in marketing, psychology, and biomedicine. From this, five conclusions emerge: Males are more self-oriented, while females are more other-oriented; females are more cautious responders; females are more responsive to negative data; males process data more selectively and females more comprehensively; and females are more sensitive to differentiating conditions and factors. We conclude by identifying several areas of opportunity for advancing our understanding of gender differences.


S. Adam Brasel | James Gips

As mouse-driven desktop computers give way to touchpad laptops and touchscreen tablets, the role of touch in online consumer behavior has become increasingly important. This work presents initial explorations into the effects of varying touch-based interfaces on consumers, and argues that research into the interfaces used to access content can be as important as research into the content itself. Two laboratory studies using a variety of touch technologies explore how touchscreen interfaces can increase perceived psychological ownership, and this in turn magnifies the endowment effect. Touch interfaces also interact with importance of product haptics and actual interface ownership in their effects on perceived product ownership, with stronger effects for products high in haptic importance and interfaces that are owned. Results highlight that perceptions of online products and marketing activities are filtered through the lens of the interfaces used to explore them, and touch-based devices like tablets can lead to higher product valuations when compared to traditional computers. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Joann Peck | Victor A. Barger | Andrea Webb

Previous research has shown that individuals value objects more highly if they own them, a finding commonly known as the endowment effect. In fact, simply touching an object can create a perception of ownership that produces the endowment effect. In this paper, we extend this line of research in several ways. First, we show that haptic imagery, or imagining touching an object, can have the same effect on perceived ownership as physical touch. We then demonstrate that haptic imagery can lead to perceptions of physical control, which in turn increase feelings of ownership. Moreover, the more vivid the haptic imagery, the greater the perception of control and the feeling of ownership. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. © 2012 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Thomas Gilovich | Amit Kumar | Lily Jampol

© 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology. To live in the developed world is to live in a consumerist society. Although the broader forces that created this society have led to unprecedented material abundance, scholars have maintained that these benefits have come at a significant psychological cost. An important question, then, is how these psychological costs can be minimized. With that in mind, we review research showing that people derive more satisfaction from experiential purchases than material purchases. We then summarize the findings of an extensive program of research on the psychological mechanisms that underlie this difference. This research indicates that experiential purchases provide greater satisfaction and happiness because: (1) Experiential purchases enhance social relations more readily and effectively than material goods; (2) Experiential purchases form a bigger part of a person's identity; and (3) Experiential purchases are evaluated more on their own terms and evoke fewer social comparisons than material purchases. We conclude by discussing how social policy might be altered to take advantage of the greater hedonic return offered by experiential investments, thus advancing societal well-being.


Jesse R. Catlin | Yitong Wang

In this study, we propose that the ability to recycle may lead to increased resource usage compared to when a recycling option is not available. Supporting this hypothesis, our first experiment shows that consumers used more paper while evaluating a pair of scissors when the option to recycle was provided (vs. not provided). In a follow-up field experiment, we find that the per person restroom paper hand towel usage increased after the introduction of a recycling bin compared to when a recycling option was not available. We conclude by discussing implications for research and policy. © 2012 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Chris Janiszewski | Robert S. Wyer

The last forty years of social science research have produced over 12,000 articles on priming. The range, complexity, and novelty of priming effects are hard to comprehend, let alone explain, using a single model or perspective. In this review, we discuss content priming and process priming effects. We then propose an integrative model that can account for the combined results. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Meryl P. Gardner | Brian Wansink | Junyong Kim | Se Bum Park

How do moods influence one's preference for foods? By introducing the role of enjoyment- versus health-oriented benefits of foods in the mood and food consumption relationship, this research informs both temporal construal theory and mood management framework by positing that mood influences the choice between healthy versus indulgent foods through its impact on temporal construal, which alters the weights people put on long-term health benefits versus short-term mood management benefits when making choices. The results from four experiments show that a positive mood cues distal, abstract construal and increases the salience of long-term goals such as health, leading to greater preference for healthy foods over indulgent foods. The results also show that a negative mood cues proximal construal and increases the salience of immediate, concrete goals such as mood management, leading to greater preference for indulgent foods over healthy foods. © 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Margaret C. Campbell | Gina S. Mohr | Peeter W.J. Verlegh

While sponsorship disclosure is proposed as a remedy for covert marketing, i.e., tactics such that the persuasive nature of the communication is not clear to consumers, little is known about whether or when disclosures prompt consumers to correct for persuasion. Three experiments reveal that covert marketing, in the form of subtle product placements, can increase brand recall and attitudes but that both instructions to avoid influence and mere disclosure of sponsorship can lead to correction. The first experiment demonstrates that consumers are able to correct both brand attitudes and stated recall when there are instructions to avoid influence. The following two experiments show that mere sponsorship disclosure can evoke use of persuasion knowledge for correction. However, disclosure timing differentially influences correction for recall and attitudes. Disclosure prior to exposure to the covert marketing tactic leads only to correction for effects on recall; attitude is as high with a prior disclosure as with placement with no disclosure. Disclosure after placement provides general correction of the impact of the covert marketing tactic on both recall and attitudes. © 2012.


Andreas B. Eisingerich | Hae Eun Helen Chun | Yeyi Liu | He Michael Jia | Simon J. Bell

© 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology. We examine the conceptual difference between consumer electronic word-of-mouth on online social sites (sWOM) such as Facebook and traditional face-to-face word-of-mouth (WOM). We find that consumers are less willing to engage in sWOM than WOM. Such a difference in willingness to offer word-of-mouth can be explained by social risk associated with different communication modes. We show that the difference between people's desire to engage in sWOM and WOM is mediated by perceived social risk and amplified when social risk is made salient. Furthermore, we show that consumers' need to self-enhance mitigates the difference in willingness to offer sWOM versus WOM.


Grant Packard | David B. Wooten

This paper extends prior research on consumer knowledge beliefs and word-of-mouth transmission. Findings from four studies suggest that people compensate for unfavorable discrepancies between their actual and ideal consumer knowledge with heightened efforts to signal knowledgeability through the content and volume of their word-of-mouth transmissions. This compensatory knowledge signaling effect is moderated by the self-concept rel evance (psychological closeness) of the word-of-mouth target and lay beliefs in the self-enhancement benefits of transmitting product knowledge. Content analysis of participants' product communications further supports our knowledge signaling account. The relationship between actual:ideal knowledge discrepancies and heightened word-of-mouth intentions is mediated by the specific negative emotion associated with actual:ideal self-discrepancies. Overall, the findings suggest that the relationship between consumer knowledge and word-of-mouth transmission depends not only on what you think you know, but also on what you wish you knew. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Susan Fournier | Claudio Alvarez

Our commentary focuses on the negative pole of Park et al.'s Attachment-Aversion continuum. We argue that the distinction between positively- and negatively-valenced relationships matters, and open opportunities to further our knowledge about what makes a brand relationship "bad." Two theoretical extensions are offered: (1) additional negativity dimensions beyond brand-self distance including pathology, power, and self- versus brand-focused emotionality; and (2) distinctions between neutrality and variations of emotional ambivalence "in the middle" of the Attachment-Aversion spectrum. Our call is for a science of negative relationships concerning the negative outcomes, processes, states, and attributes of consumers' relationships with brands. © 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Scott Motyka | Dhruv Grewal | Nancy M. Puccinelli | Anne L. Roggeveen | Tamar Avnet | Ahmad Daryanto | Ko de Ruyter | Martin Wetzels

Regulatory fit, or the match between an individual's regulatory orientation and the strategy used to sustain it, offers a pervasive predictor of customer behavior. Merely reaching a decision in a certain way influences the value of a decision or an outcome. In this research, we conduct a meta-analysis to more fully articulate the role of important conceptual moderators and demonstrate their differential effects on evaluation, behavioral intention, and behavior. In particular, we look at the source of regulatory focus (self-prime, situation-prime, chronic), the orientation (prevention, promotion), how fit is created (sustaining, matching), how fit is constructed (action, observation), and the scope of fit (incidental, integral). We also shed light on the role of several contextual factors. © 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology.


Dawn Iacobucci | Steven S. Posavac | Frank R. Kardes | Matthew J. Schneider | Deidre L. Popovich

© 2015 Society for Consumer Psychology. In this rebuttal, we discuss the comments of Rucker, McShane, and Preacher (2015) and McClelland, Lynch, Irwin, Spiller, and Fitzsimons (2015). Both commentaries raise interesting points, and although both teams clearly put a lot of work into their papers, the bottom line is this: our research sets the record straight that median splits are perfectly acceptable to use when independent variables are uncorrelated. The commentaries do a good job of furthering the discussion to help readers better develop their own preferences, which was the purpose of our paper. In the final analysis, neither of the commentaries pose any threat to our findings of the statistical robustness and valid use of median splits, and accordingly we can reassure researchers (and reviewers and journal editors) that they can be confident that when independent variables are uncorrelated, it is totally acceptable to conduct median split analyses.


Ravi Dhar | Margarita Gorlin

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