Embracing a Fresh Start: How Consumers Engage to Change Their Lives
AuthorSchultz, Ainslie Elizabeth
AdvisorPrice, Linda L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 11-Jan-2019
AbstractConsumers consistently pursue new beginnings regarding health, financial wellbeing, and personal growth. Conceptual metaphors like the "fresh start" can be powerful tools for reframing problems and motivating behaviors (Coulter and Zaltman 2000; Lakoff and Johnson 1980; Landau, Keefer and Meier 2010; Thibodeau and Boroditsky 2011), and are frequently featured in movies, blogs, strategic marketing communication, and products. However, research has not examined whether fresh starts can indeed help consumers set new goals and improve their performance. This dissertation seeks to explore the role of the fresh start metaphor in consumers' lives. In Chapter 2, I define the fresh start as consumers' pursuit of new beginnings, and develop a reliable scale distinct from related constructs such as optimism, hope, entity theory and psychological closure. I find that consumers who score higher on the fresh start scale focus on the future more optimistically, report higher intentions to set new goals, and increase efforts toward health and financial budgeting. In Chapter 3, I investigate whether actively engaging the metaphor of the fresh start can change consumer outcomes. I find that when participants are prompted to activate a fresh start they expect to perform better on a challenging task (e.g., losing weight or saving money) because it increases their belief that present obstacles will have less hold in the future. I also find that a fresh start translates into performance improvements when participants perform poorly on a task in a personally important domain, and self-efficacy mediates the effect. Overall, results provide strong support for the role of the fresh start as a powerful tool that consumers can use to improve well-being, overcome poor performance, set new goals, and transform for the better.
Degree ProgramGraduate College