Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Role of Optimum Stimulation Level in Exploratory Consumer Behavior


Author Info

  • Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict E M
  • Baumgartner, Hans
Registered author(s):


    This study examines the role of optimum stimulation level (SOL) in exploratory consumer behavior. The concept of SOL and its measurement are discussed, and the literature on exploratory consumer tendencies and their relationship with SOL is reviewed. Hypotheses are developed concerning the relationship between SOL and cognitive responses to ads, ad repetition, information search, variety seeking, decision making under risk, gambling, and innovative behavior, and these hypotheses are investigated in a series of experiments. Four well-known instruments are used to measure people's characteristic preference for stimulation, and SOL is operationally as a weighted composite of a person's score on these scales. The results of the study indicate that consumers' SOL is systematically related to curiosity-motivated consumer behaviors, variety seeking, and risk taking. Copyright 1992 by the University of Chicago.

    Download Info

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 19 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 434-48

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:19:y:1992:i:3:p:434-48

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Vandecasteele, Bert & Geuens, Maggie, 2009. "Revising the myth of gay consumer innovativeness," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 134-144, January.
    2. Desai, Kalpesh Kaushik & Trivedi, Minakshi, 2014. "Do consumer perceptions matter in measuring choice variety and variety seeking?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 2786-2792.
    3. Valentyna Melnyk & Stijn Osselaer, 2012. "Make me special: Gender differences in consumers’ responses to loyalty programs," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 545-559, September.
    4. Wu, Pei-Hsun & Kao, Danny Tengti, 2011. "Goal orientation and variety seeking behavior: The role of decision task," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 65-72, February.
    5. Sharma, Piyush & Sivakumaran, Bharadhwaj & Marshall, Roger, 2010. "Impulse buying and variety seeking: A trait-correlates perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 276-283, March.
    6. Harper Roehm & Michelle Roehm, 2004. "Variety-Seeking and Time of Day: Why Leader Brands Hope Young Adults Shop in the Afternoon, but Follower Brands Hope for Morning," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 213-221, December.
    7. Bartels, Jos & Reinders, Machiel J., 2011. "Consumer innovativeness and its correlates: A propositional inventory for future research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(6), pages 601-609, June.
    8. Yin-Hui Cheng & Shin-Shin Chang & Shih-Chieh Chuang & Ming-Wei Yu, 2012. "The impact of purchase quantity on the compromise effect: The balance heuristic," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(4), pages 499-512, July.
    9. Jurca Maria Alina & Plăiaș Ioan, 2013. "Schema Congruity - A Basis For Evaluating Ambient Advertising Effectiveness," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 1765-1774, July.
    10. Etienne Bressoud, 2007. "La prédisposition a la recherche d'expériences comme caractéristique individuelle : un élément de la complémentarité entre théorie classique et approche expérientielle," Post-Print halshs-00305747, HAL.
    11. Baas, Tjerk H. & van Raaij, W. Fred, 2010. "'Familiar or risky': The Asperger syndrome affects exploratory consumer behaviour," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 471-477, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Cox, Anthony D. & Cox, Dena & Anderson, Ronald D., 2005. "Reassessing the pleasures of store shopping," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 250-259, March.
    14. Özge Sýðýrcý & A. Müge Yalçýn, 2010. "Factors Affecting Consumer Evaluations Of Brand Extensions," Bogazici Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 24(1+2), pages 67-90.
    15. Richard, Marie-Odile & Chandra, Ramdas, 2005. "A model of consumer web navigational behavior: conceptual development and application," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(8), pages 1019-1029, August.
    16. Mowen, John C. & Fang, Xiang & Scott, Kristin, 2009. "A hierarchical model approach for identifying the trait antecedents of general gambling propensity and of four gambling-related genres," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1262-1268, December.
    17. Luomala, Harri T. & Laaksonen, Martti, 1997. "Mood-regulatory self-gifts: Development of a conceptual framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 407-434, June.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:19:y:1992:i:3:p:434-48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.