Consumer Disclosure and Disclosure Avoidance: A Motivational Framework

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In this research, we investigate consumers' motivations for disclosing personal information to relationship-seeking marketers. We explore the impact of consumers' relationship perceptions, the nature of benefits offered by marketers in exchange for requested information, and the type of information requested on consumers' disclosure willingness, focusing on consumers' forecasts of 2 types of potential disclosure-related loss (i.e., loss of privacy and loss of face), which are shown to mediate this decision. The results of an experiment revealed that although participants with relatively deep relationship perceptions were more likely to reveal " privacy-related" personal information, they were more reluctant to reveal embarrassing information. The findings also suggest that although loyal customers found the exchange of privacy-related personal information for customized benefit offerings (relative to noncustomized offerings) attractive, the reverse was true for embarrassing information; these participants seemed to find the exchange of customized offerings for this latter type of information unattractive. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the findings for consumer researchers and relationship-seeking marketing practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


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