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An Empirical Test of a Theoretical Model of Surprise in Marketing

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Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
The purpose of this research was to construct and empirically test a theoretical model of surprise and its impact on consumer affect and behavior. First the literature on the emotion of surprise was reviewed with particular emphasis on classification and process models of surprise. A theoretical model of surprise was constructed. A new concept called motivated meaning integration (MMI) was proposed. MMI takes place in a setting that includes the interaction of the appraisal process with factors such as environmental uncertainty and consumers’ individual differences. These interactions impact outcomes such as consumer affect and buying behavior. Ten hypotheses were derived from the theoretical model and empirically tested using several pretests and two main studies. The present research designed and evaluated several surprise manipulations and MMI manipulation checks to effectively test the proposed relationships. Participants were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk). Although many of the hypotheses were not supported, some important ones were. The results provide some support that a consumer’s sense of personal control interacts with MMI to impact a consumer’s likelihood of choosing unknown or mystery products ( e.g. products in a known category such as beauty products but the actual products are selected by the company). Specifically, consumers who experienced a low sense of personal control (compared to a high sense personal control) were more likely to choose mystery products (vs. objectively similar known products) after they encountered surprise with mystery (vs. with known) elements. The results also provided some support that productivity orientation interacts with surprise appraisal to impact consumer affect. Particularly, consumers with high productivity orientation (vs. low) were more likely to experience higher positive affect after encountering surprise with mystery (vs. with known) elements. The primary implication for theory involves refining the conceptualization of surprise appraisal, especially fast MMI, and adopting adequate measure for testing it. The most relevant implication for marketing management is to offer products with mystery elements because consumers are more likely to choose additional mystery products. If this dissertation stimulates others to pursue research on surprise theory in marketing, my efforts to continue developing scientific theory will be worth it.
Title: An Empirical Test of a Theoretical Model of Surprise in Marketing.
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Name(s): Toteva, Irina T., author
Shaw, Eric H., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
College of Business
Department of Marketing
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2018
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 153 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The purpose of this research was to construct and empirically test a theoretical model of surprise and its impact on consumer affect and behavior. First the literature on the emotion of surprise was reviewed with particular emphasis on classification and process models of surprise. A theoretical model of surprise was constructed. A new concept called motivated meaning integration (MMI) was proposed. MMI takes place in a setting that includes the interaction of the appraisal process with factors such as environmental uncertainty and consumers’ individual differences. These interactions impact outcomes such as consumer affect and buying behavior. Ten hypotheses were derived from the theoretical model and empirically tested using several pretests and two main studies. The present research designed and evaluated several surprise manipulations and MMI manipulation checks to effectively test the proposed relationships. Participants were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk). Although many of the hypotheses were not supported, some important ones were. The results provide some support that a consumer’s sense of personal control interacts with MMI to impact a consumer’s likelihood of choosing unknown or mystery products ( e.g. products in a known category such as beauty products but the actual products are selected by the company). Specifically, consumers who experienced a low sense of personal control (compared to a high sense personal control) were more likely to choose mystery products (vs. objectively similar known products) after they encountered surprise with mystery (vs. with known) elements. The results also provided some support that productivity orientation interacts with surprise appraisal to impact consumer affect. Particularly, consumers with high productivity orientation (vs. low) were more likely to experience higher positive affect after encountering surprise with mystery (vs. with known) elements. The primary implication for theory involves refining the conceptualization of surprise appraisal, especially fast MMI, and adopting adequate measure for testing it. The most relevant implication for marketing management is to offer products with mystery elements because consumers are more likely to choose additional mystery products. If this dissertation stimulates others to pursue research on surprise theory in marketing, my efforts to continue developing scientific theory will be worth it.
Identifier: FA00013102 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2018.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Marketing.
Surprise.
Empirical Research.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013102
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.