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Reasons for Substantial Delay in Consumer Decision Making

Eric A. Greenleaf and Donald R. Lehmann
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 22, No. 2 (Sep., 1995), pp. 186-199
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2489811
Page Count: 14
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Reasons for Substantial Delay in Consumer Decision Making
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Abstract

This study proposes a typology of reasons why people substantially delay important consumer decisions The delay reasons we study are drawn from delay typologies identified in other contexts as well as from the product diffusion literature. Two studies reported here examine why subjects delay consumer decisions. These support most of the reasons in the proposed typology, while some unanticipated delay reasons also emerge. We find that the delay reasons are related to the reasons consumers stop delaying, a process that we call delay closure, and are also related to the amount of time that consumers spend in different stages of the decision-making process. A final study supports a conceptual framework to classify these delay reasons based on the two dimensions of internal versus external locus of causation, and whether the purpose of delay is related to the decision or to unrelated activities.

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