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Unformatted text preview: Journal of Marketing Research Vol. XLII (February 2005), 43–53 43 *Erica Mina Okada is Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Washington Business School (e-mail: [email protected]). The author gratefully acknowledges Eric Spangenberg, Ravi Dhar, Richard Yalch, Jerome Lyons, and Pierre Chandon for their helpful suggestions. She also thanks the two anonymous JMR reviewers. The article benefited from the comments by the participants of Bob Jacobson’s Marketing Camp at the University of Washington Business School. ERICA MINA OKADA* People want to have fun, and they are more likely to have fun if the sit- uation allows them to justify it. This research studies how people’s need for justifying hedonic consumption drives two choice patterns that are observed in typical purchase contexts. First, relative preferences between hedonic and utilitarian alternatives can reverse, depending on how the immediate purchase situation presents itself. A hedonic alterna- tive tends to be rated more highly than a comparable utilitarian alterna- tive when each is presented singly, but the utilitarian alternative tends to be chosen over the hedonic alternative when the two are presented jointly. Second, people have preferences for expending different combi- nations of time (effort) and money for acquiring hedonic versus utilitarian items. They are willing to pay more in time for hedonic goods and more in money for utilitarian goods. The author explores the topic through a combination of four experiments and field studies. Justification Effects on Consumer Choice of Hedonic and Utilitarian Goods By nature, people are motivated to enjoy themselves. However, having fun also raises such issues as guilt and need for justification. Therefore, people will be more likely to consume hedonic goods when the decision context allows them the flexibility to justify the consumption. This research examines how hedonic versus utilitarian consump- tion can vary in typical purchase situations, depending on the decision context. Hedonism and utilitarianism are not necessarily two ends of a one-dimensional scale (Voss, Spangenberg, and Grohmann 2003). Different products can be high or low in both hedonic and utilitarian attributes (Crowley, Spangen- berg, and Hughes 1992). This research takes a more holistic approach and conceptualizes hedonism and utilitarianism as summary constructs. I characterize hedonic (utilitarian) alternatives as being primarily or relatively more hedonic (utilitarian). This approach is consistent with work by Dhar and Wertenbroch (2000) and O’Curry and Strahilevitz (2001) and is more appropriate for the topic of the research. I do not examine the measurement of hedonism and utilitar- ianism per se but rather study how the aggregate perception of a good as either hedonic or utilitarian affects behavior in ways that are theoretically explainable and predictable....
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2012 for the course ECONOMIC 203 taught by Professor Veiga during the Spring '12 term at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
- Spring '12