ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (11): 2595-2606.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02595

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


柳武妹, 肖海谊, 王雪枫()   

  1. 兰州大学管理学院, 兰州 730000
  • 收稿日期:2021-09-05 出版日期:2022-11-15 发布日期:2022-11-09
  • 通讯作者: 王雪枫
  • 基金资助:

Residential mobility and consumption: Explanation based on regulatory focus theory

LIU Wumei, XIAO Haiyi, WANG Xuefeng()   

  1. School of Management, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2021-09-05 Online:2022-11-15 Published:2022-11-09
  • Contact: WANG Xuefeng


居住流动性是指人们改变居住地(即搬家)的频率。作为关键的社会生态因素之一, 其会对个体的认知、情绪以及行为产生重要影响。已有学者从健康福祉、社会关系以及教育结果等方面对居住流动性的后因结果进行了综述。居住流动性对消费者心理和行为也会产生重要影响, 但目前未发现有综述研究对居住流动性引发的消费者行为反应进行总结, 也未见研究从理论层面对这一影响机制进行归纳解释。在梳理居住流动性导致的消费者心理与行为反应的研究之后, 借用调节定向理论对相关研究结论进行了归类论述, 指出居住流动性会导致消费者分别采取促进型反应策略或预防型反应策略。进一步地, 提出居住流动的自主性(主动vs.被动)以及方向性(向上vs.向下)能够解释经历居住流动的消费者何时会选择促进型策略或预防型策略。最后, 针对所搭建的居住流动性促进和预防策略框架, 提出几个潜在的研究议题, 以供学者进一步探究讨论。

关键词: 居住流动性, 消费者行为, 调节定向


Residential mobility refers to the frequency with which people change their place of residence (i.e. move). As one of the key socio-ecological factors, it has a significant impact on individual’s cognition, emotions, and behaviors. Although the important effects of residential mobility on consumer psychology and behavior have already been outlined, no review studies have been found to summarize the consumer behavioral responses triggered by residential mobility or to explain this influence mechanism in a theoretical way. Based on this, this paper presents a review of studies on consumer psychological and behavioral responses to residential mobility, and categorizes the relevant research findings based on the regulatory focus theory, indicating that residential mobility leads consumers to adopt either a facilitative or a preventive response strategy. Furthermore, it is proposed that the autonomy and directional characteristics of residential mobility can explain the differences in the strategic choices of movers. Finally, a framework of facilitative and preventive strategies of residential mobility is constructed and several potential research questions are proposed.

By reviewing the research on consumer psychological and behavioral responses to residential mobility, we found two behavioral response paths. On the one hand, movers adopt a series of facilitative behaviors, such as expanding social networks, seeking uniqueness, and cooperating and assisting across groups, in order to obtain social resources, strength their individual selves, and pursue their identities. Such behaviors of actively acquiring resources for self-improvement fit well with the facilitative responses in the regulatory focus theory. On the other hand, the risk-averse behaviors of familiarity seeking, nostalgic consumption, and preference for short-term venture capital products to relieve anxiety and other negative emotions, reduce uncertainty, and increase the sense of control in life are consistent with the preventive responses of the regulatory focus theory. Therefore, this paper uses the regulatory focus theory to rationalize the findings of the relevant studies, and points out that different dimensions of residential mobility will lead consumers to adopt different response strategies of promotion or prevention.

Further analysis revealed that the autonomous and directional characteristics of residential mobility can indicate when mobile individuals adopt different response strategies. Specifically, when individuals are actively or upwardly mobile, they exhibit promotion focus and thus adopt facilitative behaviors,whereas when individuals are passively or downwardly mobile, they exhibit prevention focus and thus adopt preventive behaviors. Based on the above perspectives, we further explain the differences between the findings of existing research and construct a framework of facilitative and preventive strategies for residential mobility.

The generalization and explanation of the differential consumption behaviors caused by residential mobility can, on the one hand, provide a reference marketing practices such as identifying target customers; on the other hand, by constructing a framework of residential mobility promotion and prevention strategies, it can provide a direction and clarification for marketing scholars to conduct empirical research on residential mobility and related characteristics. Based on this, we propose that further research on the topic of residential mobility can be conducted in the following aspects in the future: (1) using residential mobility as an antecedent to investigate the interactive effects of residential mobility and trait-regulated orientation on consumer behavioral responses (2) using residential mobility as an outcome to investigate the interactive effects of trait-regulated orientation and state-regulated orientation on residential mobility and related consumer behavioral responses; (3) exploring the boundary conditions of the consequences of residential mobility; and (4) discussing the impact of the effects of residential mobility autonomy and orientation on consumer behavior in a more realistic context.

Key words: residential mobility, consumer behavior, regulatory focus