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Consumer Specialization and the Demand for Novelty: a Reconsideration of the Links and Implications for Studying Fashion Cycles in Tourism

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  • Andreas Chai

    ()
    (Griffith University)

Abstract

How does the consumer’s predisposition to seek arousing new sensations affect their tendency to accumulate knowledge about consumption activities? Using recent insights about the dynamic interaction of learning mechanisms that are part of the individual’s genetic endowment, we argue that, contra Scitovsky (1976), the emergence of relatively convenient forms of entertainment may foster – rather than inhibit – the accumulation of consumer knowledge. Furthermore, because specialized consumers have a greater tendency to innovatively modify aspects of the consumption activity, we argue that this specialization process fundamentally affects the rate at which consumers become habituated to novelty. This represents an important way in which cognitive learning patterns interact with non-cognitive learning dynamics and it has consequences for understanding the direction and length of fashion cycles in recreational activities. In particular, we discuss how this perspective can be applied to studying tourism demand patterns and the ‘Destination Life Cycle’.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 232 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 678-701

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:232:y:2012:i:6:p:678-701

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Related research

Keywords: Novelty demand; consumer specialization; habituation; tourism patterns;

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References

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  1. Richard, Marie-Odile & Chebat, Jean-Charles & Yang, Zhiyong & Putrevu, Sanjay, 2010. "A proposed model of online consumer behavior: Assessing the role of gender," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(9-10), pages 926-934, September.
  2. Richard N. Langlois & Metin M. Cosgel, 1996. "The Organization of Consumption," Working papers 1996-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  3. Bianchi, Marina, 2003. "A questioning economist: Tibor Scitovsky's attempt to bring joy into economics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 391-407, June.
  4. Richard N. Langlois, 2000. "Knowledge, Consumption, and Endogenous Growth," Working papers 2000-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  5. Andreas Chai, 2011. "Consumer specialization and the Romantic transformation of the British Grand Tour of Europe," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 181-203, October.
  6. Roland Helm & Sebastian Landschulze, 2009. "Optimal stimulation level theory, exploratory consumer behaviour and product adoption: an analysis of underlying structures across product categories," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 41-73, March.
  7. Scitovsky, Tibor, 1981. "The Desire for Excitement in Modern Society," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 3-13.
  8. Peter E Earl & Jason Potts, 2000. "Latent demand and the browsing shopper," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3-4), pages 111-122.
  9. Ulrich Witt, 2002. "How Evolutionary Is Schumpeter'S Theory Of Economic Development?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1-2), pages 7-22.
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