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Locus of Control for Consumer Outcomes: Predicting Consumer Behavior


  • Michael A. Busseri
  • Herbert M. Lefcourt
  • Robert R. Kerton


Are there some consumers who believe that deliberate decision-making can lead to improved outcomes while others believe that outcomes are beyond their control? To predict which consumers take a strategic approach to shopping, we constructed a measure of locus of control focused specifically on consumer behaviors and outcomes. Psychometric evaluations of the 14-item Consumer Locus of Control scale indicated that it was a reliable instrument whose characteristics were replicated in two separate samples. The scale was used to predict shopping behavior ranging from impulsive to strategic. The measure of consumer locus of control was significantly related to consumer behavior, whereas measures of economic and generalized locus of control proved to be unrelated to shopping effort, planning, and product knowledge. The more internal their consumer control beliefs, the more likely were subjects to be planful and purposive in the act of shopping.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Busseri & Herbert M. Lefcourt & Robert R. Kerton, 1998. "Locus of Control for Consumer Outcomes: Predicting Consumer Behavior," Working Papers 98007, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:98007

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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Fusaro & Richard Ericson, 2010. "The Welfare Economics of “Bounce Protection” Programs," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 55-73, March.

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