Shopping Values of Russian Consumers: The Impact of Habituation in a Developing Economy

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Marketing and Fashion Merchandising


In this research, we report upon comparative measures of shopping value in the U.S. and Russian, Given the relatively limited shopping environments provided to Russian consumers, one would anticipate that the measures we examine would reflect much higher evaluations for U.S. shoppers. We inject doubt into that expectation through reset? to habituation theory. Habituation theory, for which a number of articles have appeared in the 1990s reflects the belief that for emotional and physiological reactions, consumer evaluations may be subject to adaptation. Consumers exposed to relatively poor conditions may nevertheless adapt and show little difference in enjoyment than those who benefit from richer conditions. Consumers, in short, adapt to their surroundings and produce measures of evaluation that reflect their interaction with the environment. Our research results find evidence of this adaptation. Shoppers in Russia report lower ratings in the utility of their shopping systems, specifically their ability to complete a shopping task. Contrarily, their reports for hedonic values, or the pleasure derived from using their shopping systems, are similar to those in the U.S. We conclude that habituation is more likely to meaningingfully affect hedonic values as compared to utilitarian. These results also suggest that the evaluation of measures of pleasure or satisfaction for consumers may need to be scrutinized carefully for evidence of the habituation effect to insure correct interpretation.

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Journal of Retailing





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