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Implicit self-regulation in consumer goal pursuit

PhD ceremony:Mr J.H. (Jacob) Wiebenga
When:January 08, 2015
Supervisors:prof. dr. B.M. (Bob) Fennis, prof. dr. L.M. (Laurens) Sloot
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Economics and Business
Implicit self-regulation in consumer goal pursuit

Consumers’ daily behaviors are driven by their goals, such as to lose weight, save for a vacation, or finish a reward program. In turn, consumers use various products and services to pursue their goals. These situations require consumers to control and regulate their own behavior in the face of distractions, temptations, or lack of motivation. Little research has clarified the underlying processes by which people pursue goals in a consumer context or described how the consumer context might influence self-regulated goal pursuit. This dissertation addresses this gap and focuses on how situational characteristics of the retail environment—that is, progress information (Chapter 2), store atmospherics (Chapter 3), and brands (Chapter 4)—affect such self-regulatory processes in consumer goal pursuit. More specifically, it shows that these environmental stimuli can trigger goals and support self-regulatory processes that then go on to shape consumers’ behavior in ways beyond their conscious awareness. Moreover, this dissertation highlights three domains in which people engage in implicit self-regulatory actions, construed as the self in relation to time and space (Chapter 2), the self in relation to the physical world (Chapter 3), and the self in relation to itself (Chapter 4). This dissertation advances our understanding of how consumers interact with the (marketing) context to attain their objectives, and, in so doing, sheds new light on how goal-directed consumer behavior is affected by, and affects, the sometimes puzzling and complex world in which we live.