Point of Purchase or Point of Frustration? Consumer Frustration Tendencies and Response in a Retail Setting
The research applies precepts from frustration theory to investigate frustration when a goal is blocked in a consumer context. Predictions are derived, and two studies are designed to investigate the goal-directed sequence following a blocked goal and the role of individual differences in frustration tolerance in a retail checkout encounter. The findings of the research suggest that when the goal of retail checkout is blocked, consumers adopt either adaptive or maladaptive resolution strategies. Those who take an adaptive approach return to goal-seeking behaviour, whereas those following the maladaptive path initially resolve their frustrations through resignation. That initial resolution strategy of resignation then produces a second wave of new blocks to goal attainment (helplessness, anger and self-preoccupation). Subsequently, the second wave of blocks is countered with a second set of resolution strategies (alteration, substitution, abandonment with acceptance or abandonment with suffering). The research findings also reveal that consumer frustration responses are associated with internal versus external blame and with social surroundings or who is watching the frustrating event unfold. The results likewise indicate that attitude toward the company and repatronage intentions are influenced by social surroundings and by individual differences in frustration tolerance (fairness, entitlement, gratification and achievement). Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Van Steenburg, Eric, Nancy Spears, and Robert O. Fabrize. “Point of Purchase or Point of Frustration? Consumer Frustration Tendencies and Response in a Retail Setting.” Journal Consumer Behavior 12, no. 5 (September 2013): 389–400. doi:10.1002/cb.1440.