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Impact of the perceived threat of COVID-19 on variety-seeking

Authors
  • Kim, Jungkeun
Type
Published Article
Journal
Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ)
Publisher
Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Publication Date
Jul 07, 2020
Volume
28
Issue
3
Pages
108–116
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ausmj.2020.07.001
PMCID: PMC7345280
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced our daily and social lives as well as our consumption patterns. This paper focuses on the relationship between the COVID-19 threat and variety-seeking. Based on several theories, including reactance theory and terror management theory, we predict that the perceived threat of COVID-19 will increase the tendency to choose more and different options in multiple choice settings. Firstly, two empirical studies demonstrate that variety-seeking in food and stationery choices is enhanced as people's perceived threat from the disease increases. Study 3 further suggests the boundary conditions of the above pattern in that the type of decision (i.e., multiple option selections across different brands vs. within the same brand) will moderate the impact of the perceived threat on varietyseeking. Specifically, when the decision involved choice across different brands, participants showed higher variety-seeking under high (vs. low) perceived threat. However, the opposite pattern was true when the decision involved choice within the same brand. This research offers a deeper understanding of how variety-seeking can be changed by the perceived threat of COVID-19.

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