Matching Items (20)

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Recommendation Systems and Cultural Production in the Age of Consumer Capitalism

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The following paper consists of an analysis of the history of literary recommendation systems as they pertain to the field of cultural production as defined by Pierre Bourdieu. This paper

The following paper consists of an analysis of the history of literary recommendation systems as they pertain to the field of cultural production as defined by Pierre Bourdieu. This paper argues that visible in the history of recommendation systems is a shift in value regarding cultural capital and social capital. Whereas recommendation systems in the form of cultural prizes operated primarily in the distribution of cultural capital, the emergence of Oprah's Book Club marked a transition to the valuation of social capital over cultural capital. This transition was further marked by the role of Amazon.com as the largest bookseller and their data driven recommendation system constructed through analysis of individual's shopping habits. The trend of social capital, rather than cultural capital, shaping field of cultural production is indicative of a cultural populism that is rooted in the assumption that any given person is capable of determining the value of an art object without the assistance of guiding institutions.

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  • 2016-05

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An Analysis of Consumer Demand for Digital Songs

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In this paper I seek to understand how consumers value music today by investigating what consumers are willing to pay for digitally downloaded songs (such as the ones available on

In this paper I seek to understand how consumers value music today by investigating what consumers are willing to pay for digitally downloaded songs (such as the ones available on the iTunes or Amazon music stores) and the variety of factors that influence their willingness to pay. I conducted a survey and received over 500 responses regarding willingness to pay for single-song downloads, consumer sentiment on whether music should be free, streaming service use, and other information pertaining to music consumption behavior. Through this research I found that paid-streamers are willing to pay more for songs than those who do not pay to stream, all else being equal. Further, Free-streamers are not willing to pay significantly more or less than non-streamers. This finding is additional information to other research that suggests streaming acts as a substitute for sales. I also found that most consumers are in the middle when it comes to the debate for whether music should always be free or always be purchased. Where someone aligns on the spectrum is a statistically significant contributing factor to what that person is willing to pay for a song. My findings also suggest that consumer preferences distinguish between benefit derived from music ownership and benefit derived from the ability to listen to music. This information sheds more light on the reason behind the declining digital download market.

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  • 2018-05

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Perceived Polarization and Its Effects on Voter Behavior

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Political polarization is at an all-time high in the United States and people are more polarized in their beliefs than ever. The issue of polarization is one of the most

Political polarization is at an all-time high in the United States and people are more polarized in their beliefs than ever. The issue of polarization is one of the most divisive conflicts in America today. The following honors thesis analyzes how political polarization affects voter emotions and behaviors. To study this, I expose participants to a high polarization news article and a low polarization news article and observe the results. Out of the test came two key findings. The first is that participants who identify as Independents were much more likely to feel inspiration in a high polarization context than in a low polarization context. The second is that in a high polarization condition, Democrat and Republican participants felt more connected to their own parties compared to the control condition.

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  • 2020-05

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The Effect of Waiting on Impulse Purchases

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This study was designed to discover any relationship between waiting and purchasing impulse goods. I distributed a survey with three conditions: a control with no wait, a wait with information

This study was designed to discover any relationship between waiting and purchasing impulse goods. I distributed a survey with three conditions: a control with no wait, a wait with information explaining the wait, and a wait with no information. After the wait, participants saw a group of impulse goods and indicated how much they were willing to spend for each item, and how much they desired to buy each item. Results showed that participants in the treatment condition with information for the wait desired the impulse goods the least, and were willing to spend the least to purchase them. However, there was no significant difference between the participants given no information explaining the wait, and the control group in either desire or the price they were willing to pay. This is possibly explained by the apology in the message read by participants in the condition with information. They felt more valued and were less likely to feel the need to spend money on impulse goods that are often purchased to make the participant feel better about their wait.

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  • 2016-05

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Are There Gender Differences in the Impact of Friends on Purchase Decisions?

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Research has found many different factors can influence purchase decisions, one of which is social presence. This research aims to examine how gender and self-construal can influence the effect of

Research has found many different factors can influence purchase decisions, one of which is social presence. This research aims to examine how gender and self-construal can influence the effect of social presence on consumers. Using survey methodology, this study found no gender difference in terms of friends' influence on purchase decisions or their use of mobile phones to contact friends while shopping alone. The results do indicate that people who are more interdependent are more likely to contact friends when shopping alone than those who are less interdependent.

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  • 2013-05

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How Social Media Influencers Drive Young Adults’ Vacation Decisions?

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This research examines the impact of social media influencers on Millennial and Gen Z consumers’ vacation decisions. It reveals why and under what conditions influencers’ posts may trigger young adult

This research examines the impact of social media influencers on Millennial and Gen Z consumers’ vacation decisions. It reveals why and under what conditions influencers’ posts may trigger young adult consumers’ desire to vacation in the same destination. In a pre-test and one experiment, I demonstrate that seeing a post that is perceived by followers as credible increases influencers’ likeability and therefore leads to higher likelihood to vacation in the same place. However, seeing a post about a similar influencer, such as a student who is an influencer from the same university, decrease influencers’ likeability and leads to a decrease in young adults’ likelihood to vacation in the same place. Moreover, similarity and credibility do not have an interaction effect, which is that when seeing a post by a similar influencer, credibility will not have a stronger effect on young adults’ likelihood to vacation in the same destination.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Political Ideology and Consumer Behavior

Description

In today’s society we see an increasing amount of food being wasted because of impractical aesthetic production standards and idealistic consumer standards. Unrealistic ideals regarding outward produce appearance drive these

In today’s society we see an increasing amount of food being wasted because of impractical aesthetic production standards and idealistic consumer standards. Unrealistic ideals regarding outward produce appearance drive these standards. As imperfect, ugly produce waste is on the rise, further research on what drives consumer preferences is necessary to combat this growing issue. Variations in outside appearance deem produce imperfect despite its perfectly normal interior quality. In this research, I will explore whether a market segmentation variable such as political ideology drives purchase for imperfect, inferior produce. I will also explore whether a balance salient condition, indicated through balance-oriented slogans, drives purchase for imperfect, inferior produce. I will study the differences between vertical differentiation and horizontal differentiation as they relate to consumer identity. I will also study how all consumers, in particular conservatives, utilize balance motive and compensatory reasoning to justify their purchasing decisions. In a polarized society with dominant political identities, marketers can more easily target consumers through their political opinions. By understanding consumers’ ideology, marketers can improve marketing efforts that will ultimately better appeal to their rationale. Through a pretest measuring how many oranges were taken in balance-oriented conditions and a main field study, I investigate how political ideology plays a role in influencing the number of imperfect, inferior oranges taken. I also investigate how balance salient conditions play a role in influencing how many imperfect, inferior oranges consumers will take. This study opens doors for future research to further investigate how political ideology and balance salient conditions may impact consumer preference for imperfect, unattractive produce items.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Escaping the Problem: Consumer’s Reactions to a Self-Discrepancy

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Self-discrepancies motivate consumers to reduce the discrepancy’s negative effects by seeking products that make them feel better. Consumers use various strategies to mitigate these effects through within-domain purchases, across-domain purchases,

Self-discrepancies motivate consumers to reduce the discrepancy’s negative effects by seeking products that make them feel better. Consumers use various strategies to mitigate these effects through within-domain purchases, across-domain purchases, or purchases designed to distract. Currently, there is a gap in the literature regarding how consumers trade off various compensatory consumption strategies when they face the option to evaluate different strategy at the same time. Through the current research presented here, as well as two proposed studies, I aim to find that people prefer escapism products and services (versus direct resolution and fluid consumption) when faced with a self-discrepancy. I address the literature gap by proposing studies for a mediator (working memory capacity) and a moderator (ease of the solution) on this relationship. This phenomenon occurs because self-discrepancies decrease working memory capacity (cognition): when cognitive resources are low, people will tend to prefer affective stimuli (escapism products). Finally, I plan an experiment to show that difficulty moderates this relationship. When the relative difficulty of the escapism solution is high, participants may be more likely to choose a different, relatively easier strategy. The current findings and suggested future studies contribute to the literature on compensatory consumption, escapism, and working memory capacity.

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  • 2020-05

Compensatory Consumption: How Sales Associates’ Behavior Influences Consumers’ Willingness to Purchase Aspirational Brands

Description

Aspirational brands such as luxury brands have a tendency to make consumers feel rejected in retail environments. Previous studies show that this rejection actually increases consumers’ positive feelings toward the

Aspirational brands such as luxury brands have a tendency to make consumers feel rejected in retail environments. Previous studies show that this rejection actually increases consumers’ positive feelings toward the brand. In this research, however, we suggest that this finding might not hold for all customer segments. Specifically, we suggest that for those customers who feel insecure in a certain domain (e.g., feel insecure about their social standing), rejection by a brand that is aspirational in that domain (e.g., a status-signaling brand) might backfire. Two experiments and a separate field study provides evidence that is consistent with these predictions. These results are discussed in depth, including limitations and future possibilities to further the study.
Aspirational brands are defined as brands that tap into the ideal self-concept (Ward and Dahl, 2014). For example, people who aspire to have high social standing view luxury brands as aspirational. Presently, most sales associates from aspirational brands are encouraged to display judgmental behavior when interacting with customers (Neuman, 2014). This is supported by past research that has shown that creating space between the customer and the brand increases the customer’s wants and needs to associate even more with this aspirational brand. This deliberate space between the brand and customer increases their desire to be recognized by that brand. (Ward and Dahl, 2014, p. 590).

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Consumers’ Health-Related Food Choices and Behaviors

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This dissertation offers three essays that investigate consumers’ health-related food choices and behaviors from three different, yet complementary, angles. The first essay uses an eye-tracking experiment to examine consumers’ visual

This dissertation offers three essays that investigate consumers’ health-related food choices and behaviors from three different, yet complementary, angles. The first essay uses an eye-tracking experiment to examine consumers’ visual attention to the Nutrition Facts Panels for healthy and unhealthy products. In this essay, I focus on how involvement and familiarity affect consumers’ attention toward the Nutrition Facts panel and how these two psychological factors interact with new label format changes in attracting consumers’ attention. In the second essay, I demonstrate using individual-level scanner data that nutritional attributes interact with marketing mix elements to affect consumers’ nutrition intake profiles and their intra-category substitution patterns. My findings suggest that marketing-mix sensitivities are correlated with consumers’ preferences for nutrient attributes in ways that depend on the “healthiness” of the nutrient. For instance, featuring promotes is positively correlated with “healthy” nutritional characteristics such as high-protein, low-fat, or low-carbohydrates, whereas promotion and display are positively correlated with preferences for “unhealthy” characteristics such as high-fat, or high-carbohydrates. I use model simulations to show that some marketing-mix elements are able to induce consumers to purchase items with higher maximum-content levels than others. The fourth chapter shows that dieters are not all the same. I develop and validate a new scale that measures lay theories about abstinence vs. moderation. My findings from a series of experiments indicate that dieters’ recovery from recalled vs. actual indulgences depend on whether they favor abstinence or moderation. However, compensatory coping strategies provide paths for people with both lay theories to recover after an indulgence, in their own ways. The three essays provide insights into individual differences that determine approaches of purchase behaviors, and consumption patterns, and life style that people choose, and these insights have potential policy implications to aid in designing the food-related interventions and policies to improve the healthiness of consumers’ consumption profiles and more general food well-being.

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Date Created
  • 2018