DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01439

Acta Psychologica Sinica (心理学报) 2017/49:11 PP.1439-1448

What do you listen to under the pressure of time? The moderator effects of reference group on impulsive buying

Sometimes consumers should make decisions under the pressure of time. Although researchers have investigated impulsive buying under time pressure for many years, almost no consensus has reached. A number of literature have found that time pressure has a positive impact on impulsive buying while other literature have got the opposite conclusion. These researches ignored others' influence. With the popularization of the social media, consumers are more and more exposed to reference group when making decision under the pressure of time. So in this research we will investigate the relationship between time pressure and impulsive buying under different types of reference group influence based on reference group theory.
Three studies were conducted to verify our hypotheses. Study 1 used secondary data and an experiment to test main effect. First, 104 products' sale data from JUMEI have been gotten. Based on regression analysis, we verified the interaction effects of time pressure and reference group on impulsive buying. Then, experiment 1 was conducted through a 2 (time pressure:high vs. low)×2 (reference group:informational influence vs. normative influence) between-subjects design. 128 participants completed the experiment. The results also revealed the same significant interaction effects.
Study 2 used the similar experimental design as study 1 to further test our mediation effects. 148 university students from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law participated in the experiment. The results revealed the significant mediation effects of instant gratification (i.e., the degree of immediate gratification that an individual obtains via making an impulsive buying) and normative evaluation (i.e., judgments about the appropriateness of engaging in impulsive buying behavior). Moreover, study 3 further tested informational influence. A total of 144 participants from Huazhong University of Science and Technology completed the study with a 2 (time pressure:high vs. low)×2 (informational influence:content information vs. quantity information) between-subjects design. The results revealed the significant interaction effects of time pressure and informational influence on impulsive buying.
The results of these three studies have provided supports for our hypotheses:(1) The reference group moderate the relationship between time pressure and impulsive buying-Specifically, consumers under higher time pressure will do more impulsive buying in the normative reference influence, while those under lower time pressure will do more impulsive buying in the informational reference influence. (2) Instant gratification and normative evaluation mediate the above relationships. (3) The informational influence moderate the relationship between time pressure and impulsive buying-Consumers under lower time pressure will do more impulsive buying when reading content information, while those under higher time pressure will do more impulsive buying when reading quantity information. Finally, we discussed the theoretical contributions and managerial implications of this paper, and offered some critical insights for marketers.

Key words:time pressure,reference group,instant gratification,normative evaluation,impulsive buying

ReleaseDate:2017-12-29 15:49:12

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