Revealing the Actual Roles of Expectations in Consumer Satisfaction with Experience and Credence Goods

By Olshavsky, Richard W.; Kumar, Anand | Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, January 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Revealing the Actual Roles of Expectations in Consumer Satisfaction with Experience and Credence Goods


Olshavsky, Richard W., Kumar, Anand, Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior


ABSTRACT

The disconfirmation of expectations model continues to be the dominant model in the study of customer satisfaction notwithstanding its serious conceptual flaws and its weak empirical support. Competing models reveal the two roles that expectations actually play: as a major determinant of the perception of perceived performance of a good, for credence goods, and as the standard of comparison for the determination of satisfaction with information, for both experience and credence goods. A model that uses desires as the standard for determining satisfaction with goods and expectations as the standard for determining satisfaction with information, is shown to generate the most realistic predictions. Some implications for theory and empirical research on consumer satisfaction and complaining behavior are briefly discussed along with some implications for marketing management.

INTRODUCTION

Although various researchers have proposed different standards as the basis of comparison for customers to assess their level of satisfaction with a product/service, the dominant paradigm in the customer satisfaction literature continues to be the disconfirmation of expectations model. This is so even though several researchers have noted serious conceptual problems with the disconfirmation of expectations model (Dixon, Spreng, and Olshavsky 1993; Spreng, MacKenzie, and Olshavsky 1996) and others have found empirical evidence that expectations play only a minor role in the formation of satisfaction judgments (Churchill and Surprenant 1982; Swan and Trawick 1979; Wirtz and Mattila 2001). Spreng et al. (1996) found that desires and expectations both influence overall satisfaction through their effects on satisfaction with goods and satisfaction with information. Their findings suggest that consumers are using both expectations and desires to form satisfaction judgments.

Swan and Trawick (1979) made a conceptual distinction between predictive expectations and desired expectations. Predictive expectation was the consumer's pre-usage estimate of the performance level that the product was anticipated to achieve; i.e., predictive expectation was the expectation term used in the traditional disconfirmation of expectation model of consumer satisfaction (Oliver 1980). Desired expectation was the consumer's pre-usage specification of the level of performance that the consumer wanted from a product. We refer to these desired expectations as desires in this paper to distinguish it from consumer expectations about what they are likely to get from a product.

Swan and Trawick (1979) examined four different scenarios: the effects on overall satisfaction when performance was equal to predictive expectations, less than predictive expectations, equal to desired expectations, and greater than desired expectations. Their empirical findings were contrary to the predictions of the traditional disconfirmation of expectations model, where predictive expectations was considered the comparison standard. In particular, their finding that consumers were indifferent when performance matched predictive expectations but reported high levels of satisfaction when performance matched desired expectations raises questions about expectations being used as the comparison standard by consumers making satisfaction judgments and offers strong support for desires as the appropriate standard in models of consumer satisfaction. However, they conclude that a possible reason they found no effect of expectation on satisfaction was that consumers were very clear about the product performance in their study; i.e., consumers had no ambiguity or difficulty in assessing product performance. They speculated that when product performance was ambiguous (i.e., product claims were not easily verifiable), consumer expectations were likely to influence consumer assessments of product performance (also see Olshavsky and Miller 1972).

We feel there is a lot of merit in the observations made by Swan and Trawick (1979) about how and when expectations might influence consumer satisfaction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Revealing the Actual Roles of Expectations in Consumer Satisfaction with Experience and Credence Goods
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.