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Experiential analysis of automotive consumption

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Author Info

  • Earl, Peter E.

Abstract

This paper uses introspection and deconstruction as tools to improve understanding of how decisions to purchase cars are made and how a person's preferences evolve in the long run. It is based on a much longer, downloadable account of experience with 18 cars over a 30-year period that involves motoring in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Many of the implications drawn from this account contradict conventional economic perspectives on consumer behavior, particularly regarding the presumed use of tradeoffs, the lack of significance of past choices for current actions, and the rationality of responses to information problems and the availability of credit. The paper also reflects on how introspective research is to be used: not as an empirical ‘sample of one’ but as a means of identifying potential problems with existing theories and suggesting new hypotheses to explore more systematically.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Research.

Volume (Year): 65 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 1067-1072

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:65:y:2012:i:7:p:1067-1072

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusres

Related research

Keywords: Researcher introspection; Path-dependence; Consumer anxiety; Non-compensatory decision rules; Hyperbolic discounting;

References

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  1. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  2. Schouten, John W & McAlexander, James H, 1995. " Subcultures of Consumptions: An Ethnography of the New Bikers," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 43-61, June.
  3. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
  5. Earl, Peter E., 2001. "Simon's travel theorem and the demand for live music," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 335-358, June.
  6. Celsi, Richard L & Rose, Randall L & Leigh, Thomas W, 1993. " An Exploration of High-Risk Leisure Consumption through Skydiving," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-23, June.
  7. Arnould, Eric J & Price, Linda L, 1993. " River Magic: Extraordinary Experience and the Extended Service Encounter," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 24-45, June.
  8. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  9. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
  10. Elias Khalil, 2001. "The context problematic, behavioral economics and the transactional view: an introduction to 'John Dewey and economic theory'," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 107-130.
  11. Gould, Stephen J, 1991. " The Self-Manipulation of My Pervasive, Perceived Vital Energy through Product Use: An Introspective-Praxis Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 194-207, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Brette & Thomas Buhler & Nathalie Lazaric & Kevin Marechal, 2014. "Reconsidering the Nature and Effects of Habits in Urban Transportation Behaviour," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-10, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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