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The feelings of consumer guilt: A phenomenological exploration

    Ayla Özhan Dedeoğlu Affiliation
    ; İpek Kazançoğlu Affiliation

Abstract

Guilt, a discomforting, yet widespread emotion, has been frequently exploited by advertisers. Despite all of the great deal of research effort, there remains a dearth of research that examines the dimensions of consumer guilt by providing a more complete understanding. The present study represents an attempt to develop a phenomenological account of consumer guilt and broaden the understanding of the dimensions and dynamics of consumer guilt grounded in consumers’ lived experiences by using in‐depth interviews and projective data. Regarding this, a thorough analysis revealed the existence of five dimensions of consumer guilt, namely, hesitation, sadness, reluctance to spend, regret and self‐blame. Consumer guilt is felt due to transgressions, self‐control failures and indulgence in hedonistic desires. The findings show that guilt feelings are found to be cyclic, short‐lived and superficial and mostly arise as a result of good and bad actions but not always of right versus wrong actions. In the consumption society, guilt is attached to new concerns brought about by cultural drift.


Santrauka


Kalte ir neramumas ‐ labai paplitusi emocine būsena, kuria dažnai nagrineja reklamos specialistai. Nepaisant to, kad apskritai yra atlikta daugybe tyrimu, vis dar trūksta vartotojo kaltes aspektus analizuojančiu tyrimu, kurie padetu geriau suvokti šia problema. Šiame tyrime buvo stengiamasi išpletoti vartotojo kaltes fenomenologija ir praplesti suvokimo ribas apie vartotoju kaltes matmenis ir dinamika, grindžiama vartotojo išgyventa patirtimi, naudojant nuodugnia apklausa ir projektine informacija. Atlikus visapusiška analize, paaiškejo, kad egzistuoja penki vartotojo kaltes matmenys: neryžtingumas, liūdesys, nenoras išlaidauti, apgailestavimas, saves kaltinimas. Vartotojas jaučia kalte del prasižengimo, savikontroles praradimo, piktnaudžiavimo, tenkinant hedonistinius troškimus. Rezultatai parode, kad kaltes jausmas yra cikliškas, trumpalaikis ir paviršutiniškas, dažniausiai kylantis kaip gero ar blogo veiksmo rezultatas. Vartotojiškoje visuomeneje kalte yra siejama su del kultūros poslinkio atsiradusiais naujais rūpesčiais.


First Published Online: 10 Feb 2011


Reikšminiai žodžiai: vartotojo kalte, prasižengimas, savikontroles praradimas, atlaidumas, vartotojo kultūra, apgailestavimas, saves kaltinimas, liūdesys, neryžtingumas

Keyword : consumer guilt, transgressions, self-control failures, indulgence, consumer culture, regret, self-blame, sadness, hesitation

How to Cite
Dedeoğlu, A., & Kazançoğlu, İpek. (2010). The feelings of consumer guilt: A phenomenological exploration. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 11(3), 462-482. https://doi.org/10.3846/jbem.2010.23
Published in Issue
Sep 30, 2010
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