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Management Project And Thesis On Consumption Intentions and Behavior

Title: The Influence of Consumer Motivations on Consumption Intentions and Behavior
Department of Marketing
This Dissertation comprises two essays that investigate how consumer’s motivations affect their consumption behavior, such as purchase intentions and product valuation. Motivation is a predisposition to behave in a certain way. Motives are a motor for action, stimulating behavior that helps individuals achieve their goals (Fiske 2008). Contemporary motivation theory (e.g., Fitzsimons and Bargh 2004; Kruglanski et al. 2002) assumes two important characteristics of motives and goals that are fundamental for this proposal. First, motives and goals are mentally represented in the same way as are other cognitive constructs. Motives and goals correspond to internal knowledge structures containing information such as possible means and behavioral procedures for attaining a goal. Second, this motivation-ascognition approach implies that motivation is dynamic and that it can be primed and automatically activated by diverse environmental features, that is, by the mere presence of situational cues associated with those goals. Motivation, rather than being stable and individual, is a dynamic process because it can be activated from various different sources, because it can be activated without intervening conscious choice, and because the same stimulus can activate different motivations depending on the person or the situation. Operating motivations, consciously or non-consciously, influence consumers’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This dissertation proposal investigates the interplay of several motives and goals, which are activated in different ways, and how they affect consumer behavior.
Essay 1 shows that consumers’ motivation to rely on their own opinion and correct their judgments for the influence of a product recommendation moderates source credibility effects on judgment certainty and behavioral intentions. Building upon earlier research showing that correction may decrease judgment certainty, we propose that, contrary to this unidirectional effect, correction has a bidirectional effect on judgment certainty and behavioral intentions, depending on the initial recommendation credibility. In a series of three studies, we provide support for the bidirectional effect of correction and show that when consumers correct for the influence of a high credibility recommendation, their judgment certainty and behavioral intentions  decrease, but when they correct for the influence of a low credibility recommendation, their judgment certainty and behavioral intentions increase.
Essay 2 examines the influence of consumers’ motivations on product valuation and proposes that while buyers are intrinsically motivated to minimize what they are giving up, sellers are intrinsically motivated to maximize what they are getting. These differential goals lead to a discrepancy in product valuation of buyers relative to sellers. In a series of five studies, we provide support for the motivated valuation explanation for the disparity between buying and selling prices and show that altering the goal pursuit of buyers and sellers moderates the price disparity effect.
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