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Consumer decision making styles in retailing: evolution of mindsets and psychological impacts

Steven Lysonski (Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Srinivas Durvasula (Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 25 January 2013




India has undergone dramatic change in its retail markets since economic liberalization in 1992. The authors aim to use the framework of consumer decision making styles to investigate longitudinally how these styles have changed from 1994 to 2009. They also conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the 2009 data to determine whether decision making styles are shaped by psychological variables: perceived time pressure, shopping opinion leadership, shopping self-confidence, consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence, and materialism.


The eight different consumer decision making styles were measured with instrument by Sproles and Kendall. The psychological variables were measured with established instruments with adequate reliabilities. The survey was administered to young adults. The Indian samples from 1994 and 2009 were matched allowing for comparisons.


The longitudinal analysis showed that four of the eight decision making styles changed statistically between 1994 and 2009; there were increases for brand consciousness, novelty-fashion consciousness, and impulsive-careless shopping while perfectionist-quality consciousness decreased. The cross sectional analysis of the psychological variables showed that perceived time pressure had minimal impact while shopping opinion leadership and shopping self confidence had a major impact. Materialism and consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence had a moderate impact.

Research limitations/implications

The authors used an urban sample; a rural sample would also be useful. Future research could examine other emerging markets such as Brazil and Vietnam to identify the impact of the psychological variables on decision making styles in those countries.

Practical implications

The study shows that decision making styles do change as an emerging economy becomes more developed. The study also shows that psychological variables can explain some of the differences in decision making styles among consumers. Retailers and marketers can use this information to be more strategic in the way they develop their planning.

Social implications

Changes in decision making styles show that consumers are now more brand and fashion conscious while being more impulsive and careless in their shopping. These changes may signal that Indians are becoming more materialistic and more focused on brands and fashion which can lead to excessive buying and debt.


The paper offers a longitudinal view of changes in decision making and a cross sectional analysis of how psychological variables affect decision making styles. This study focuses on issues not presently discussed in the literature.



Lysonski, S. and Durvasula, S. (2013), "Consumer decision making styles in retailing: evolution of mindsets and psychological impacts", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 75-87.



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