Depending on the shopping context, consumers may develop different mental representations of complex shopping trip decision problems to help them interpret the decision situation that they face and evaluate alternative courses of action. To investigate these mental representations and how they vary across contexts, the authors propose a causal network structure that allows for a formal representation of how context-specific benefits requirements affect consumers’ evaluation of decision alternative attributes. They empirically test hypotheses derived from the framework, using data on consumers’ mental representations of a complex shopping trip decision problem across four shopping contexts that differ in terms of opening hour restrictions and shopping purpose, and find support for the proposed structure and hypotheses.

Additional Metadata
Keywords consumer decision-making, context effects, mental representations, retailing, shopping trip decisions
JEL C44, Statistical Decision Theory; Operations Research (jel), D12, Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis (jel), M, Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel), M31, Marketing (jel)
Publisher Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)
Persistent URL
Dellaert, B.G.C, Arentze, T.A, & Timmermans, H.J.P. (2008). Shopping Context and Consumers' Mental Representation of Complex Shopping Trip Decision Problems (No. ERS-2008-016-MKT). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM). Retrieved from