Coping with Control Motivation by Collecting: How Desire for Control Motivates Systematic Acquisition Behavior in Collecting
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCollecting is a pervasive form of consumer behavior throughout human history. When collecting, instead of adding new items to their collections randomly, consumers tend to systematically acquire objects and experiences, for instance by following an overarching theme geared towards the completion of the collection. It is unknown, however, why consumers are driven to such systematic acquisition behaviors. In the present dissertation, I aim to close this knowledge gap by providing converging evidence that the systematic acquisition of objects and experiences a coping mechanism for desire for control, a fundamental human motivation to manage events and outcomes in one’s life. This is because systematically acquiring objects and experiences helps consumers build a cognitive structure in their mind through conceptually organized items and, thus, attenuates their desire for control. This dissertation offers a comprehensive multi-method investigation into a crucial driver of collecting behavior by employing three different operationalizations of desire for control (i.e., self-report, neurophysiology, and experimental manipulation), three different operationalizations of collections (i.e., hypothetical, actual endowment, and collections that collectors already possess), and a wide variety of consumer collectibles (e.g., paperclips, stamps, coins, the experience of visiting U.S. national parks).
Degree ProgramGraduate College