Self-gifting and consumer perceived values : development and validation of a scale to measure consumer perceived values in self-gifting and applied to consumer satisfaction

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sukyung Seo (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nancy Hodges

Abstract: Self-gifting has become a popular consumption practice. Self-gifts can take various forms, such as products, services, or experiences, and provide special meanings in certain contexts. Consumers’ desire for the psycho-social functions of self-gifting can be fulfilled by the values embodied in a self-gift. Consumer perceived values (CPVs) have been frequently detected in self-gifting behavior. These CPVs influence consumer choice behavior in various consumption circumstances and for different product/service types. Despite the important role of CPVs in self-gifting, a valid measurement of self-gifting behavior informed by CPVs is lacking in the literature. Furthermore, existing studies have focused on antecedents of self-gifting behavior, paying little attention to consumer satisfaction at the post-purchase stage. Given the research gaps, the purpose of this dissertation was two-fold: (1) to develop a self-gifting scale from the CPV perspective and (2) to test the developed scale to examine whether CPVs in self-gifting influence consumer satisfaction. A conceptual framework was developed based on the literature on self-gifting behavior, CPVs, the theoretical framework of Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory (EDT), and the concept of consumer satisfaction. To address the first part of the purpose, Churchill’s (1979) paradigm was adopted. Based on the paradigm, scale item generation, scale purification, and scale validation steps were conducted by examining how CPVs influence self-gifting behavior. The exploratory investigation included an extensive literature review and in-depth interviews conducted to define the dimensions of CPVs in self-gifting, which resulted in an initial pool of items across nine dimensions. Content validity of the items was confirmed through expert reviews and a pilot test. Survey data were then collected and subjected to EFA, Item Analysis, and CFA for scale purification and scale validation. This series of testing resulted in a new scale of CPVs in self-gifting (CPVS-G) with satisfactory reliability and validity. The final CPVS-G scale was comprised eight CPVs and 47 items: 4 items for satisfying quality (SQ), 7 items for social connection and social identity (SI), 7 items for sustainability (ST), 7 items for new knowledge (NK), 6 items for work/life balance (WL), 6 items for security through resale (RS), 6 items for new experiences (EX), and 4 items for mood diversion (MD). To address the second part of the purpose, the CPVS-G scale was then used to test the hypotheses using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The survey data were collected from Amazon Mturk and yielded 355 valid responses. A two-step approach (i.e., measurement and structural models) was adopted to test the proposed hypotheses. The results of the hypotheses testing indicated significant relationships between satisfying quality (SQ), work/life balance (WL), security through resale (RS), and mood diversion (MD) and consumer satisfaction (SF). The relationships between social connection and social identity (SI), sustainability (ST), gaining new knowledge (NK), and gaining new experiences (EX) and consumer satisfaction (SF) were nonsignificant. This dissertation provides several important contributions. First, the primary contribution of this study is the development of a reliable and valid scale to test CPVs in self-gifting. The resulting CPVS-G scale developed in this study expands upon the existing shopping motivation self-gifting scales. The CPVS-G scale can assist the implementation of targeted marketing by investigating the primary values relative to self-gifting. Second, in addition to the previously defined CPVs, this dissertation discovered new CPVs (i.e., security through resale, work/life balance, and sustainability) that reflect the diversification of self-gifting as a growing consumption phenomenon. Third, the results provide evidence of the theoretical and managerial significance of the relationships between CPVs in self-gifting and consumer satisfaction. The current study found that satisfying quality (SQ), work/life balance (WL), security through resale (RS), and mood diversion (MD) were significantly related to consumer satisfaction. Fourth, this dissertation offers theoretical insight into the Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory (EDT) and particularly within value-oriented self-gifting. Consumer post-purchase satisfaction was found to be determined by comparing expectations with outcomes of CPVs relative to the self-gifts purchased. Lastly, the CPVS-G scale exhibited excellent reliability and construct validity across the entire analyses. Therefore, it can be used in studies on self-gifting across categories of products, services, and experiences in various disciplines and industries, including fashion, tourism, hospitality, consumer needs, and entertainment, to name a few.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Consumer Perceived Values, Consumer Satisfaction, Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory, Self-Gifting
Consumer behavior
Consumer satisfaction
Expectation (Psychology)

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