University of Twente Student Theses


The influence of need for closure and decision aids on online purchase behavior

Rau, T.T. (2014) The influence of need for closure and decision aids on online purchase behavior.

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Abstract:The overall purpose of this study is twofold. On the one hand, an experiment has been carried out in order to investigate the influence of the need for closure [NFC] and product category experience on online decision-making and information processing, in general, and on online decision aids, search effort and the consideration set size, in particular. On the other hand, the analysis of the online behavior using video screen recordings in a simulated online purchase situation, will additionally function as a basis to develop a behavior analysis’ coding scheme for online consumer decision-making and information processing and searching in the e-commerce context. A total of 60 German subjects participated in this study. The manipulated decision aids were the consumer reviews and the recommendation system of the German Amazon website. The chosen product category in which participants had to search a suitable product was leisure backpacks. The data resulting from questionnaires during the experiment and the behavior analysis have been analyzed by carrying out Poisson loglinear and Gamma loglink regression analysis using generalized linear models. The results indicated that the influence of NFC and the experience in the product category as well as the interaction between the two predictor variables on the product choice, confidence in the product choice, search effort, and usage of recommendation system was generally not relevant. However, an increase of the product category experience also led to an increase of the number of used search attempts of the participants, thus different approaches such as different search terms or categories and product sorting. Additionally, the usage and reliance on the consumer reviews increased significantly with an increase of the NFC of the participants. Furthermore, a marginal significant influence of the NFC was found, showing that with an increase of the NFC of the participants the consideration set size of the participants increased as well. The proposed idea of using the experience with the product category as a predictor to indicate whether high NFC participants reside in the seizing or freezing state did not show the expected effect. However, the results showed a tendency with marginal statistical significance that low NFC participants consideration set size increased with increasing product category experience, whereas for high NFC participants the consideration set size just decreased with increasing product category experience. Due to the lack of significant results, future studies should search for other latent variables or predictors such as the interplay between the NFC and the need for cognition for example. Additional implications and future research directions have been discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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