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I want it and I want it now: using a temporal discounting paradigm to examine predictors of consumer impulsivity
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 18:59 authored by Helga Dittmar, Rod Bond
This paper proposes a new model of consumer impulsivity, using type of good, a person's endorsement of materialistic values, and identity deficits as predictors. Traditional decision making and psychological accounts see impulsive behaviour as a general overweighing of short-term gratification (I want that dress now) relative to longer-term concerns, irrespective of consumer good. Our proposal is that consumers' impulsivity (a) differs according to type of good and (b) is linked systematically to a combination of materialistic values and high identity deficits. Beginning with Study 1, three experiments, using a temporal discounting paradigm, show consistently that discount rates are higher for goods that are seen as highly expressive of identity (e.g., clothes) than goods not expressive of identity (e.g., basic body care products). For materialistic consumers, identity deficits predict discount rates for identity-expressive goods (Study 2), and discount rates change for materialistic individuals when their identity deficits are made salient (Study 3). These findings support a conceptualization of consumer impulsivity as identity-seeking behaviour.
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Department affiliated with
- Psychology Publications
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