Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Shopping karma: Cultural factors affect consumer satisfaction

If you believe in karma, you're more likely to have higher expectations, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Some consumers strategically lower their expectations in order to try to increase their satisfaction with a product or experience, write authors Praveen K. Kopalle (Dartmouth College), Donald R. Lehmann (Columbia University), and John U. Farley (Dartmouth College). But people who believe in karma tend to have a more long-term orientation, which decreases the importance of momentary happiness.

The authors describe the doctrine of karma as having three main tenets. First, is the notion of rebirth where actions in a particular life may bear fruit either in the current life or in the next. Second, actions can be broadly classified into appropriate (good) or inappropriate (bad). Finally, good actions in the present lead to good outcomes in the future. "The doctrine of karma links current conduct to future consequences either in this life or the next," write the authors. "Thus, a belief in karma entails, among other things, a focus on long-run consequences."

"Individuals with a long-term orientation are likely to be less inclined to lower expectations in the hope of temporarily feeling better," write the authors. "With a long-term orientation, even those individuals who are most unhappy when a product fails to live up to their expectations of it have a limited incentive to artificially lower their expectations and hence have higher (and more accurate/realistic) expectations."

The authors compared results in China with those in India and found that a significantly higher percentage of people in India believed in karma (64 percent versus 10.5 percent).

It is important for companies to understand these types of cultural differences if they wish to reach consumers in a globalized marketplace, the authors write. "Perhaps most importantly, the findings are also encouraging concerning the feasibility of explicitly measuring cultural factors and assessing their impact on consumer behavior."

Praveen K. Kopalle, Donald R. Lehmann, and John U. Farley. "Consumer Expectations and Culture: The Effect of Belief in Karma in India." Journal of Consumer Research: August 2010. A preprint of this article (to be officially published online soon) can be found at

Mary-Ann Twist | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>