ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


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  1. 1. 中国人民大学商学院
    2. 中国人民大学
  • 收稿日期:2020-09-03 修回日期:2021-09-14 出版日期:2021-09-17 发布日期:2021-09-17
  • 通讯作者: 王艳

The Effect of Environmental Disorderliness on Variety Seeking Behavior and Its Mechanism

  1. 1. School of Business, Renmin University of China
  • Received:2020-09-03 Revised:2021-09-14 Online:2021-09-17 Published:2021-09-17

摘要: 在日常生活和购物环境中,混乱无序无处不在。然而,关于环境无序性对消费者产品选择行为的影响研究却十分有限,本文试图填补这一不足。具体而言,本文创新性地提出环境无序性与多样化寻求行为之间存在着因果关系,且自我效能威胁和未来偏好不确定感在其中发挥链式中介作用。通过1个预实验和4个实验,本文发现无论在真实环境、线下购物环境、工作环境,还是线上产品陈列情境下,环境无序性均可提升多样化寻求行为;无序的环境会对消费者的自我效能产生威胁,进而增强其对未来产品偏好的不确定性感知,最终促使其通过增加多样化寻求行为来应对未来可能变化的产品偏好。

关键词: 环境无序性, 多样化寻求, 自我效能威胁, 未来偏好不确定性

Abstract: Due to the development of economy and technology, environmental disorderliness resulted from product abundance and excessiveness has become ubiquitous and cannot be avoided. Thus, examining into the effect ofenvironmentaldisorderliness on consumers’decision making is of great theoretical and practical significance. A growing body of research has focused on the negative consequences of environmental disorderliness on individual behavior and decision making. However, few studies have explored its potential positive outcomes. This research attempts to fill in this gap and proposes that environmental disorderliness has a positive effect on consumers’ variety seeking behavior, which is sequentially mediated by self-efficacy threat and perceived preference uncertainty. This study also examined the moderating role of product packaging in the aforementioned effect. We conductedone pilot study and four experiments to test the hypotheses. The pilot study demonstrated the causal relationship between environmental disorderliness and self-efficacy threat using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Study 1 was designed to test the main effect of environmental disorderliness on variety seeking behavior using real lab environment and real behavior. Study 2 and 3 tested the sequential mediation effect by employing two methods: Study 2 tested the mediation effect of self-efficacy threat and perceived future preference uncertainty using self-report data; whereas Study 3 adopted a moderation approach to test the mediation effect by manipulating self-efficacy. Study 4 validated the results of Study 2 and ruled out the potential explanation of change seeking. In line with our predictions, environmental disorderliness (vs. orderliness) led to higher variety seeking tendencies, which was sequentially driven by self-efficacy threat and perceived preference uncertainty. It occurs when disorganized environment threatens consumers’ self-efficacy, which further increases their perceived uncertainty about future preference, and in turn bolsters their variety seeking tendencies in the subsequent consumption choices. This effect was robust by using different experimental stimuli, product categories, consumption decision scenarios, and measures of variety seeking. Additionally, we ruled out a possible explanation of mood, and change seeking. Our findings contribute to the literatures in several different areas. First, by establishing the causal relationship between environmental disorderliness and variety seeking, this research has provided a new angle to study environmental disorderliness, that is, environmental disorderliness can also bring in positive outcomes in the area of consumption. Second, this research has extended the study of self-efficacy to the consumption area by investigating new antecedents and outcomes of self-efficacy. Third, this research contributes to literature of future preference uncertainty by demonstrating that it can be heightenedby self-efficacy threat and subsequently affect variety seeking behavior.Finally, the current research also provides managerial implications for managers on how to efficiently match its product promotion with the consumption environment both online and offline.

Key words: environmental disorderliness, variety seeking, self-efficacy threat, future preference uncertainty