Scandinavian Working Papers in Business Administration

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 2001:9: Economize or 'shop til you drop': Consumer Choice as a Function of Attitude to Saving

Elisabeth Engelberg
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Elisabeth Engelberg: Dept. of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The present study was prompted by the paucity in the literature on the relation between consumer behavior and the psychology of saving. Consumer choice mode was used in analogy to delay-of-gratification to examine how attitude to saving would relate to a behavioral measure. Data from 145 university students was obtained, consisting of a measurement of items for affective and utilitarian choice modes and saving attitudes. The ability to delay gratification was revealed to be a powerful predictor of choice mode. Results thus provided support for the argument that consumption style basically reflects the preference for an affective or a rational locus of behavioral control. The study suggested that variables related to behavioral self-regulation are relevant for understanding the perception of saving. It additionally provides an impetus to continue exploring the relationship between behavioral measures of consumption and cognitive beliefs associated with saving.

Keywords: consumer choice; saving attitudes; delay-of-gratification

12 pages, November 7, 2001

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