Purchase deadline as a moderator of the effects of price uncertainty on search duration
A longstanding theoretical tenet in the economic psychology literature is that consumers respond to greater price uncertainty by increasing search. The generality of this tenet was investigated in the context of a moderating variable, purchase deadline. It was hypothesized that the effect of increased price uncertainty, as reflected by both cross-sectional price variability and longitudinal price variability, was moderated by temporal proximity to a purchase deadline. The hypothesis was tested by analyzing purchase data from a sample of consumers with known purchase deadlines searching for rental trucks. The results indicated that search increased in response to greater price uncertainty for distant deadlines but decreased in response to greater price uncertainty for proximal deadlines.
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