Interpersonal influence within car buyers' social networks: applying five perspectives to plug-in hybrid vehicle drivers
Abstract. Although interpersonal influence is thought to play in important role in proenvironmental consumption behavior, mechanisms of influence are not well understood. Through literature review, we identify five theoretical perspectives on interpersonal influence: contagion, conformity, dissemination, translation, and reflexivity. We apply these perspectives to car buyer perceptions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), a technology with attributes that can be perceived as functional, symbolic, private, and societal. The context is a PHEV demonstration project in which 275 interpersonal interactions were elicited from interviews with 40 individuals in 11 different social networks in northern California. Results demonstrate how perspectives shape research findings. Contagion, conformity, and dissemination provide useful concepts regarding perceptions of functional, symbolic and societal PHEV attributes, respectively. However, translation and reflexivity provide language and theoretical depth to describe observed perceptions and motives, while also addressing dynamics in�these perceptions and in consumer values. Utilizing these differing perspectives facilitated observation that participants are more amenable to developing new, prosocieta l interpretations of PHEVs if they: (i) easily form a basic functional understanding of PHEV technology, (ii) are in a transitional state in their lifestyle practices, and (iii) find supportive prosocietal values within their social network. Results demonstrate the importance of integrating complementary research perspectives to better understand consumer valuation of technologies with environmental benefits Keywords: vehicle purchase, social interactions, plug-in hybrid vehicles, diffusion, reflexivity
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:5:p:1047-1065. 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: (Neil Hammond)
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.