Consumer Behavior in Close Relationships
Garcia-Rada Benavides, Ximena
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CitationGarcia-Rada Benavides, Ximena. 2021. Consumer Behavior in Close Relationships. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Business School.
AbstractMy dissertation is composed of three papers examining consumer decision-making in the context of close, personal relationships. Countless consumer decisions, from small (e.g., bringing soup to a sick friend) to large (e.g., buying a house with a partner), require consumers to consider and incorporate not only their own feelings and preferences, but also the feelings and preferences of close others. Because close relationships are characterized by high interdependence, commitment, and investment, they exert a profound influence on consumers’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Therefore, in my dissertation, I investigate how consumers make decisions that involve close others and how these decisions affect their well-being and relationships.
The first essay (A Preference for Effort when Caring for Close Others) examines how consumers respond to products designed to make it easier to take care of close others—ranging from pre-made meals to robo-cribs that automatically rock babies back to sleep. A series of experiments demonstrate that using effort-reducing products to care for close others taints consumers’ self-perceptions as caregivers. The second essay (Shared Time Scarcity and the Pursuit of Extraordinary Experiences) demonstrates that consumers prioritize extraordinary experiences when they perceive the shared time with relationship partners as scarce. The third essay (Sacrificing Enjoyment for the Sake of the Relationship) examines when and why consumers forgo the objective quality of an experience to obtain interpersonal benefits—for example, when flying with a partner and forgoing two non-adjacent seats in the economy-comfort section. I conclude with a discussion of my future research agenda.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367590
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