Material and experiential purchases have gained much attention in psychology and consumer behavior alike (Carter and Gilovich 2010; Nicolao, Irwin, and Goodman 2009; Rosenzweig and Gilovich 2012; Tully, Hershfield, and Meyvis 2015). In three essays, I examine the theoretical and practical implications of consumer tradeoffs in this domain. In the first essay, I explore how regulatory focus influences the tradeoffs between material and experiential purchases. Results of five laboratory studies and two field studies (using Instagram and Google Trends data) suggest that, as the regulatory focus shifts from prevention to promotion, there is a higher likelihood of choosing experiential purchases and such an effect is driven by focus of attention. The second essay examines how self-construal may shape material-experiential tradeoffs. Results show that independent self-view develops a higher preference towards experiential purchases than interdependent self-view - an effect driven by individual's uniqueness consideration. I demonstrate this effect across seven experimental studies and a field study (using United Nations data). I also show that type of decision moderates the results. The third essay investigates how purchase type influences consumers' preference for mystery options. Five lab studies and a field study (using Groupon data) provide evidence that, when making experiential purchases consumers favor mystery options than when making material purchases. Such an effect is driven by the need for excitement. Additionally, moderated by priming of excitement and target of the decision (self vs. other). Together, these three essays contribute to a better understanding of tradeoffs in these two types of purchases. My findings add to the work on regulatory focus, self-construal, and consumer judgements and decision making. I also offer managerial insights to develop effective marketing strategy.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration; Marketing
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Urumutta Hewage, Ganga, "Consumer Tradeoffs in Material and Experiential Purchases" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6444.