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University of Alberta

1. Usta, Murat. Preference for Autonomy in Consumer Decision Making: On the Antecedents and the Consequences of Consumers' Relinquishment of Decision Control to Surrogates.

Degree: PhD, Faculty of Business, 2010, University of Alberta

This dissertation investigates the psychological processes relevant to consumers’ relinquishment of decision control to surrogates (e.g., physician, financial advisor). While the first essay investigates the antecedents of relinquishing decision control to surrogates, the second essay focuses on the consequences of such relinquishment of control. The first essay proposes that a key reason for consumers’ reluctance to relinquish the control of their decisions to expert surrogates is that such relinquishment contradicts their inherent motivation to experience an internal perceived locus of causality (PLOC) for their decisions. Based on this, I hypothesize that consumers become more likely to relinquish decision control either (1) when their motivation to maintain an internal PLOC is weakened or (2) when contextual factors specific to the decision itself are present that shift the anticipated PLOC for it from internal to external. Evidence from three studies provides strong support for this theoretical framework. I show that consumers’ willingness to relinquish decision control increases when an external PLOC is induced directly (Study 1), when an external event restricts the set of available alternatives (Study 2), and when an incentive to choose a particular alternative is present (Study 3). Based on the self-regulatory strength model and prior research on self-esteem threats, the second essay predicts and shows that delegating decisions to surrogates depletes consumers’ limited self-regulatory resources more than making the same decisions independently, thus impairing their subsequent ability to exercise self-control. This is the case even though decision delegation actually requires less decision making effort than independent decision making (Study 1). However, the resource depleting effect of decision delegation vanishes when consumers have an opportunity to affirm their belief in free will (Study 2). Moreover, remembering a past decision that one delegated impairs self control more than remembering a decision that one made independently (Studies 3 and 4). The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Subjects/Keywords: personal causation; surrogate; relinquishment of control; decision making; autonomy; self-regulation; self-determination; self-control; delegation; advice taking

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Usta, M. (2010). Preference for Autonomy in Consumer Decision Making: On the Antecedents and the Consequences of Consumers' Relinquishment of Decision Control to Surrogates. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Alberta. Retrieved from https://era.library.ualberta.ca/files/4f16c362g

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Usta, Murat. “Preference for Autonomy in Consumer Decision Making: On the Antecedents and the Consequences of Consumers' Relinquishment of Decision Control to Surrogates.” 2010. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Alberta. Accessed January 23, 2021. https://era.library.ualberta.ca/files/4f16c362g.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Usta, Murat. “Preference for Autonomy in Consumer Decision Making: On the Antecedents and the Consequences of Consumers' Relinquishment of Decision Control to Surrogates.” 2010. Web. 23 Jan 2021.

Vancouver:

Usta M. Preference for Autonomy in Consumer Decision Making: On the Antecedents and the Consequences of Consumers' Relinquishment of Decision Control to Surrogates. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Alberta; 2010. [cited 2021 Jan 23]. Available from: https://era.library.ualberta.ca/files/4f16c362g.

Council of Science Editors:

Usta M. Preference for Autonomy in Consumer Decision Making: On the Antecedents and the Consequences of Consumers' Relinquishment of Decision Control to Surrogates. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Alberta; 2010. Available from: https://era.library.ualberta.ca/files/4f16c362g

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