Drawing on incentive sensitization theory, our study focuses on loneliness coping as a goal pursuit or hedonic searching process through consumption of probabilistic goods. We propose that loneliness triggers liking (hedonic feelings) and wanting (desired outcomes), which lead to the repurchase intention of probabilistic goods. We adopt an interview study (N = 20) to explore facets of loneliness, clarifying how customers obtain hedonic feelings and desired outcomes from repurchasing. Follow-up quantitative studies including an experiment (N = 212) and a survey (N = 575) are employed to validate the differences among facets of loneliness and test the hypothesis. The findings show that liking and wanting mediate the effects of psychological loneliness and emotional loneliness on repurchase intention with respect to probabilistic goods. Furthermore, the results also suggest that perceived loss of control strengthens the effects of loneliness on wanting rather than liking.
- incentive sensitization theory
- oneliness coping
- loss of control
- probabilistic goods
- repurchase intention