Toward an understanding of consumer ambivalence

Cele Otnes, Tina M. Lowrey, L. J. Shrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A case study of wedding planning is used to explore the concept of consumer ambivalence. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, and shopping trips were employed to generate text. A formal definition of consumer ambivalence is provided. Our analysis revealed four antecedents of consumer ambivalence: expectation versus reality, overload, role conflict with purchase influencers, and custom and value conflict. These antecedents were then linked to particular coping strategies that informants employed to manage the ambivalence that was generated. Suggestions of how future research might explore consumer ambivalence are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-93
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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