Managing price changes: Role of consumer thinking styles on perceived price fairness and purchase intention

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Consumers expect companies to practice fair pricing. Understanding the underlying cognitive mechanism that determines consumers’ price fairness perceptions is significant. It could help mitigate negative outcomes from unfairness perceptions and place firms in a better competitive position. This study examines the role of consumers’ thinking styles in perceived price fairness and purchase intention in a price increase situation. An online experiment was conducted wherein 171 participants across India, primarily from tier-1 cities frequently using car rental services, took part from September to December 2021. The majority of the participants (72) were 21-30 years old (42%). All involved participants met the initial criteria of using car rental services at least once a week. Proposed hypotheses were checked by one-way ANOVA following Tukey post hoc test and PROCESS. One-way ANOVA results shows a significant influence of thinking styles on cognitive attribution with large effect size, F(2, 168) = 28.04, p < .001, η2 = 0.25; presents a significant influence of thinking styles on perceived price fairness with large effect size, F(2, 168) = 30.07, p < .001, η2 = .0.26; demonstrates a significant influence of thinking styles on purchase intention F(2, 168) = 19.94, p < .001, η2 = .0.19. Findings revealed that, in the face of a price increase occurrence, consumers thinking holistically and analytically differ in perceived price fairness and purchase intention. Furthermore, holistic thinkers with higher cognitive attribution perceive a price increase as fairer. Thereby, they have higher purchase intention than analytic thinkers.

Acknowledgment
This study received support from Internal Grant Agency (project number IGA/FaME/2022/010), Tomas Bata University in Zlín.

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    • Figure 1. Cognitive attribution concerning thinking styles
    • Figure 2. Perceived price fairness concerning thinking styles
    • Figure 3. Purchase intention concerning thinking styles
    • Table 1. Cronbach’s alpha values for construct measures
    • Table 2. Effect on cognitive attribution (one-way ANOVA results)
    • Table 3. Effect on cognitive attribution (Turkey HSD results)
    • Table 4. Effect on perceived price fairness (one-way ANOVA results)
    • Table 5. Effect on perceived price fairness (Turkey HSD results)
    • Table 6. Mediation effect through cognitive attribution
    • Table 7. Effect on purchase intention (one-way ANOVA results)
    • Table 8. Effect on purchase intention (Turkey HSD results)
    • Table 9. Serial mediation effects
    • Conceptualization
      Sayanti Shaw, Miloslava Chovancová, Jiří Bejtkovský
    • Data curation
      Sayanti Shaw
    • Formal Analysis
      Sayanti Shaw
    • Investigation
      Sayanti Shaw
    • Methodology
      Sayanti Shaw, Miloslava Chovancová
    • Resources
      Sayanti Shaw, Miloslava Chovancová, Jiří Bejtkovský
    • Software
      Sayanti Shaw
    • Supervision
      Sayanti Shaw, Miloslava Chovancová
    • Validation
      Sayanti Shaw, Miloslava Chovancová
    • Visualization
      Sayanti Shaw
    • Writing – original draft
      Sayanti Shaw
    • Writing – review & editing
      Sayanti Shaw, Miloslava Chovancová
    • Funding acquisition
      Miloslava Chovancová, Jiří Bejtkovský
    • Project administration
      Jiří Bejtkovský