The influence of self construals on consumer decision making styles: A study of young Korean college students
An underlying premise of this study is the belief that cultural factors, such as traditional collectivist values or Western individualist values, can significantly affect young Korean consumers' decision making processes. Thus, this study used the concept of Independent and Interdependent Self-Construals to examine young Korean consumers' cultural values on a more individual level rather than a cultural level.
The purposes of this paper were to (1) investigate the various antecedent factors and Self-Construals (Independent or Interdependent), (2) explore the interactions between Self-Construals and Social Influence in shaping Consumer Decision-Making Styles, and (3) determine how different Social Influences impact young Korean students Decision-Making Styles. Empirical tests were conducted to identify the antecedent variables that contributed to the differences in the Self-Construals of college students. Three different instruments (Self-Construal, Social Influence and Decision-Making Styles) were used to measure the relationships among Self-Construals, Social Influence, and Consumer Decision-Making Styles. Questionnaires were completed by 872 Korean college students from three different Korean University campuses: Seoul, Incheon and WonJu.
Data analysis uncovered various antecedent variables which contribute differences in Self-Construals of Korean college students. Strong relationships between Interdependent Self-Construal and Social Influence and two distinctive Normative Social Influences (Compliance and Identification) were also found in this study. Examination of the relationship between each of the three Social Influences (Compliance, Identification and Informational) and Decision-Making Styles revealed a significant relationship between Social Influence and young Korean Consumers' Decision-Making Styles. In addition, investigating the relationships between Self-Construals and Decision-Making Styles also revealed a significant relationship between Self-Construals and young Korean consumers' Decision-Making Styles.
As a result of the above findings, young Korean consumers with Independent Self-Construals would mostly likely be interested in a purchasing high-end luxury imported goods. Even though there is an emerging group of young consumers with an Independent Self-Construal, the majority of young consumers in this study still hold an Interdependent Self-Construal. Therefore, findings of this study suggest that different marketing strategies should be developed according to the different market segments among the young consumers based on the different clothing product categories and quality.
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