Title: Utilitarian characteristics reducing guilt: perceived values in the justification of choice

Authors: Emílio José Montero Arruda-Filho; Silvia Biffignandi

Addresses: University of Amazon (UNAMA), Av. Alcindo Cacela 287, 66060-902, Belém – Pará, Brazil; FUMEC University, Av. Afonso Pena 3880, 30130-009, Belo Horizonte – Minas Gerais, Brazil ' Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Bergamo, Via dei Caniana 2, 24100 Bergamo – BG, Italy

Abstract: Research shows that technology consumers' preferences depend on combinations of utilitarian and hedonic factors. Consumers focus on fashion, social status, differentiation from others, innovation, and bundled characteristics to feel unique. This research considers preference factors including hedonism, utilitarianism, bundle preference, social values, and technological environment, which influence consumers' behaviour and purchasing decisions. Consumers feel guilt when purchasing non-utilitarian products, and justify hedonic choices by the bundle environment and possible benefits of the integrated functionality. The article details two studies: the first defines the environmental perceptions of technology products and consumer preference, and the second analyses how consumers choose their technologies based on brand, price, and hedonic'utilitarian attributes. The study finds that hedonic and social values increase consumers' preference when characteristics increase in devices (bundle preference), while consumers justify their intention to consume related to features they already have. Social values and sense of guilt motivate consumers to justify their choices.

Keywords: utilitarianism; technology preference; choice justification; sense of guilt; hedonism; selection justification; guilt reduction; perceived values; consumer preferences; purchasing decisions; environmental perceptions; technology products; brand; price; social values; purchase justification.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2016.076423

International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 2016 Vol.15 No.2, pp.168 - 194

Accepted: 03 Sep 2015
Published online: 06 May 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article