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storage in anticipation of later usage opportunities, usage at the earliest convenient
opportunity, long-term storage with no specific or anticipated use in mind and aborting
the consumption process [Hawkins et al., 2001:631 and Engel et al., 1995:264]. Many reasons, such as new information, family interference and time, are able to
interfere with this step and have already been examined.
however, deserve special mention – buyer’s regret. One other reason does, Buyer’s regret or cognitive dissonance is the result of a consumer evaluating a product after consumption or usage.
This is where an assessment is made on whether needs have been satisfied and
consumers are psychologically uncomfortable trying to balance the choice made against
the doubts still held about the process undertaken. This situation is even more evident if
98 the decision process has been difficult, or if the consumer invested a lot of time, effort
and money in it and there is some doubt as to whether the right decision has actually been
made [Hawkins et al., 2001:628; Sweeney & Hausknecht, 2000:369; and Arens, 1999:146]. Generally speaking, the more alternatives that have been discarded by the consumer and
the more appealing those alternatives appear to be, the greater the dissonance.
Conversely, the more similar to the chosen product the rejected alternatives are, the less
the dissonance. A young consumer, for instance, may have the choice of buying one of
two similar cold drinks. He / she might experience less dissonance after choosing one
over the other if their price, appearance or even taste are the same. It is more likely that
dissonance will occur with extensive problem solving purchases. An example is a
consumer having second thoughts on the new car he / she has just bought after going to a
lot of effort in searching for information [Sweeney & Hausknecht, 2000:369; Churchill &
Peter, 1998: 147; and Taylor, 1997:233]. In addition to cognitive dissonance, a consumer can also experience consumption guilt. This is the outcome when the consumer experiences negative emotions or feelings of guilt after using the previously
bought product [Hawkins et al., 2001:630]. A general example is that of an overweight
woman who knows that she should not be indulging in so many chocolates but continues
to do so, resulting in her feeling guilty or a child feeling bad after eating a stolen sweet. Post purchase evaluations can take one of two forms, namely customer satisfaction or
customer dissatisfaction. Satisfaction can be defined as a post-consumption evaluation
that a chosen alternative at least meets or exceeds expectations. Dissatisfaction is the
opposite response. Generally speaking, consumers will work towards reducing psychological discomfort by trying to filter out the messages that undermine the choice
made. Research has shown that consumers will exhibit a higher probability of buying a
product should they be satisfied and tend to say good things about the product to others
[Kotler, 2000, 182; Lovelock & Wright, 1999:97; Ross & Baldasare, 1998:35; Levy &
Weitz, 1998:137; and Churchi...
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