Indeterminacy and Live Television
Why would consumers prefer live television, even when tape-delayed broadcasts provide the same sensory experience? We propose that indeterminacy is a key reason. Indeterminate consumption experiences (such as watching sports competitions live on television) unfold in ways that are not decided ex ante. This makes them more exciting than equivalent determinate experiences (such as watching recorded broadcasts). We offer empirical evidence for this proposition: independently of other differences between live and taped broadcasts, the indeterminacy of events made watching them live more exciting and correspondingly preferable. We conclude by discussing implications of the indeterminacy concept for consumer research. (c) 2006 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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