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Title:Counterfactual Thinking: An Underlying Mechanism of Post-Consumption Evaluation and Consumer Satisfaction
Author(s):Kim, Junyong
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Brian C. Wansink
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Business Administration, Marketing
Abstract:While marketers strive to satisfy consumers with their products or services, factors outside their control such as malignant consumption environment or misuses by consumers thwart them occasionally. How can marketers minimize consumer dissatisfaction in such cases? Understanding consumers' post-consumption evaluation process is the key to answering this question. To this end, this dissertation proposes a framework of satisfaction determination where counterfactual thinking plays the central role in satisfaction determination. The framework suggests that consumers make counterfactual comparisons in different directions, depending on the situational salience of various comparison standards and their post-consumption evaluation goals. The differences in counterfactual comparisons lead to the differences in satisfaction given the same level of expectation disconfirmation. The results of the four studies in this dissertation indicate that marketers can influence consumers' post-consumption counterfactual thinking process and the resulting satisfaction by offering the right combinations of various marketing mix variables. Specifically, the results showed that, in general, a strict return policy led to greater dissatisfaction than a liberal return policy because it prompted more upward counterfactual comparisons. However, when consumers were endowed with high responsibility and freedom during their choice process and the focus of post-consumption evaluation was on their decisions, a strict return policy led to less dissatisfaction than a liberal return policy because consumers deliberately sought downward counterfactual comparisons to avoid negative feelings about their decisions.
Issue Date:2003
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:217 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/84521
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3086098
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003


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