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Communication Breakdown? Essays Examining Attention and Distraction in Technology Mediated Consumer Communications

Sciandra, Michael (2015) Communication Breakdown? Essays Examining Attention and Distraction in Technology Mediated Consumer Communications. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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As one of our most central and powerful tools, communication can provide information, influence or motivate other individuals, and cultivate relationships. Given the importance of effective communication, it is imperative that marketers fully understand how consumers engage, receive and process communications. Furthermore, as the technological environment continues to evolve, marketers must recognize how digital and mobile mediums of communication influence consumers’ behaviors and decisions. This dissertation explores the role of attention and distraction in technology mediated communications; first investigating consumers’ reactions to persuasive communications and second examining the influence of mobile communication devices on consumer outcomes.
Essay 1 explores how consumers respond to communications containing information on the behaviors of other individuals. In particular, this essay probes the effectiveness of persuasive messages highlighting information on the actions of a majority (i.e. normative information) or minority (i.e. non-normative information) of individuals. I show that consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence impacts attention to normative and non-normative information in a message. Surprisingly, I find that high SII consumers overlook normative and non-normative cues and therefore exhibit similar levels of compliance with normative and non-normative communications.
Essay 2 studies the impact of mobile communication devices, such as cellphones and smartphones, on consumers’ in-store decision making. Specifically, this essay builds upon prior research demonstrating the substantial level of cognitive distraction associated with mobile communication device usage. I investigate consumers’ lay beliefs of the benefits and limitations of in-store mobile communication device use and examine how these devices influence shopping outcomes including consumers ability to recall in-store stimuli, number of unplanned purchases, and number of omitted planned items.
As a whole, the essays of my dissertation make novel contributions to the literatures studying persuasion, social influence, social norms, shopper marketing, and in-store decision making. Furthermore, the findings of my dissertation offer a series of practical implications for marketers, policy makers, and consumers.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sciandra, Michaelmrs98@pitt.eduMRS98
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairInman, J. Jeffreyjinman@katz.pitt.eduJINMAN
Committee CoChairLamberton,
Committee MemberStephen, Andrew Tastephen@katz.pitt.eduASTEPHEN
Committee MemberSwaminathan, Vanithavanitha@katz.pitt.eduVAS4
Committee MemberReczek,
Date: 15 January 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 December 2014
Approval Date: 15 January 2015
Submission Date: 12 December 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 136
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marketing, Consumer Communications, Attention and Distraction, Technology
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2015 22:18
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:26


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