Date of Completion
Regulatory Resource Depletion, Knowledge Calibration, Mental Construal, Information Processing, Perceived Elaboration
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation investigates the effect of regulatory resource depletion on consumer decision making. Essay 1 explores how regulatory resource depletion affects expert and novice consumers’ knowledge calibration—the consistency between their ability and confidence. Expert and novice consumers are different in their ability and confidence, but there is lack of unanimous findings of the difference in their knowledge calibration. To resolve this discrepancy, I propose that regulatory resource depletion reduces experts’ ability but increases novices’ confidence, each of which reduces knowledge calibration. I conduct a series of experiments to test my hypotheses. The results show that 1) regulatory resource depletion has stronger negative impact on experts’ ability and stronger positive influence on novices’ confidence; 2) when both ability and confidence are affected by regulatory resource depletion, individuals, regardless of their expertise, are less calibrated; 3) novices are better calibrated when regulatory resource depletion impacts on ability only while experts are better calibrated when regulatory resource depletion influences confidence only; 4) the effect of regulatory resource depletion of ability on reducing experts’ knowledge calibration is stronger for tasks involving fluid rather than crystallized intelligence; and 5) the effect of regulatory resource depletion of confidence on reducing novices’ knowledge calibration is stronger when the task is perceived easy versus difficult.
Essay 2 examines how regulatory resource depletion affects the types of transactions in which consumers engage. Unlike traditional wisdom that suggests depleted individuals prefer hedonic over utilitarian products, and become risk seeking due to self-control failure, I propose that regulatory resource depletion leads to a concrete and practical mindset in consumer transactions. This change in mindset leads consumers to focus on utility and risk minimization. I conduct a series of studies to test my conceptual framework. The results show that under the impact of regulatory resource depletion, consumers are more likely to 1) shop for utilitarian over hedonic products; 2) choose fixed price option over auction; and 3) increase their willingness-to-pay (WTP) and decrease their willingness-to-accept (WTA). The results also show that the influence of regulatory resource depletion on concrete concerns is mitigated if decision makers focus on a higher mental construal.
Chen, Wei, "The Effect of Regulatory Resource Depletion on Consumer Decision Making" (2014). Doctoral Dissertations. 546.