Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Mary Lynn Damhorst
The purposes of this study were (1) to develop a scale of problems in finding a good fit and (2) to explore the role of fit information in online consumer reviews (OCR) in the consumer decision-making process. In Study 1, three steps were involved in developing the scale. For Step 1, twenty items were generated based on the findings of Shin’s (2013) thesis. In Step 2, the preliminary testing of reliability and validity was performed using data collected from male and female participants in the US, and 14 items were retained. Reliability and validity (convergent and discriminant) were confirmed. In Step 3, the final version of the scale containing 15 items (i.e., four physical, six aesthetic, and five functional dimensions) was verified among female consumers in the US through reliability as well as convergent, discriminant, and nomological validity.
In Study 2, a one-factor (fit review valence: negative vs. positive) within-subject design was used to examine the role of fit information in OCR in consumer purchase decisions. A mock apparel shopping website was developed through the stimulus development process. Multilevel analysis for Phase 1 and structural equation modeling for Phase 2 were conducted. In Phase 1, the results showed that the positive fit review was more influential on review credibility, review evoked confidence in purchase, and attitude toward the review than the negative fit review, supporting positivity effect/bias. The moderating effects of individual characteristics revealed that responses to the valenced fit review were more influential for individuals with more functional fit problems, lower weight satisfaction, and higher reflected body esteem, supporting selective perception in an innovation decision model and confirmation bias.
In Phase 2, the results revealed that review credibility was positively related to site credibility and overall confidence in purchase. Review evoked confidence in purchase was positively associated with overall confidence in purchase. However, the relationships among attitude toward the review, site credibility, and overall confidence in purchase were not significant. Site credibility and overall confidence in purchase were positively related to attitude toward the retailer, which consequently had a positive impact on future purchase intentions.
Shin, Eonyou, "The role of fit information in consumer online reviews and individual characteristics in consumer's online purchase decisions" (2016). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 15196.