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Studies in Consumer Procrastination

Consumer procrastination is an understudied phenomenon in marketing. Through three essays, this dissertation extends the knowledge of consumer procrastination by examining dispositional and situational causes of several constructs and behaviors related to procrastination, the subsequent impact of procrastination on marketing- relevant variables such as cognitions, experiences, emotions, and behaviors, and the role of variables that moderate the effect of procrastination. Using a multi-trait, multi-method, multi-context, and multi-sample approach, Essay 1 examines the effect of trait procrastination, the Big-Five personality factors, and the characteristics of the task at hand on procrastination behavior. The results of an online survey and a SMS-based Experience Sampling Method show that Internet-enabled procrastination explains online procrastination behavior of the younger and older generations. The findings also indicate that indecisive procrastinators are agreeable and neurotic but less conscientious and open to experience; high task procrastinators are neurotic and less open. Essay 2 examines the joint effects of trait procrastination and goal-directedness of online activities to explain how consumers experience flow online and how they respond to marketers' influence strategies. The result of an online survey shows decisional procrastination leads to greater Internet-enabled procrastination which in turn, leads to greater flow and purchase behavior. Goal-directedness increased (decreased) purchase frequency for non-procrastinators (indecisive procrastinators). The proposed model of flow re-enforces the importance of this compelling experience in increasing online purchase decisions and simultaneously provides theoretical understanding on how online procrastination acts as an addictive behavior. Essay 3 examines the market versus personality-related antecedents of consumer procrastination and its consequences in terms of post-decision cognitions, emotions and behaviors through a series of scenario-based experiments. The results indicate time limit, price uncertainty, price consciousness, sale proneness and prestige seeking positively influence consumer delay in making purchase decisions. Further, the positive impact of uncertainty is only salient when people have short time limits rather than long ones. We also found when the outcome knowledge is unpleasant, respondents who decided to wait for a better sale experience greater self-responsibility and regret but have lower intention for exit, voice or WOM compared to the people who had purchased the product.
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