Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor's Name
Kimberly A. Taylor
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
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Third Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Fourth Advisor's Name
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Fifth Advisor's Name
Fifth Advisor's Committee Title
FOMO, fear of missing out, social-ties, anticipated regret
Date of Defense
This research focuses on consumers’ experiential purchase decisions motivated by the fear of missing out (FOMO). I propose that consumers are more likely to attend an event when individuals with whom they have strong (weak) interpersonal ties will be present, because consumers will experience higher (lower) levels of FOMO. The results of one qualitative and four quantitative studies, including a behavioral study, demonstrate that purchase intent is higher when participants imagine that their close friends (i.e., strong ties) will attend, an effect mediated by FOMO and anticipated regret. Furthermore, the type of experience (i.e., ordinary, extraordinary) moderates the relationship of social ties (strong, weak) on FOMO and anticipated regret. This serial moderated mediation model indicates that the social group has no effect when an experience is extraordinary but does when an experience is ordinary.
This dissertation also highlights the distinctions between the constructs of FOMO and anticipated regret. These findings provide evidence of the circumstances that can result in greater feelings of FOMO, and consequently, in increased purchase intent. Other constructs such as social exclusion is discussed. I also observe whether FOMO is an automatic process or if it is experienced after careful consideration of the stimuli.
This is the first empirical research, to my knowledge, to consider purchase and behavioral intent as a consequence of FOMO. The data collected and analyzed support most of the hypotheses including that FOMO is experienced more commonly with strong ties as opposed to weak ties, that FOMO and anticipated regret are serial mediators to the relationship between social ties and purchase intent, and that this relationship is moderated by the type of experience (although experienced equally during an extraordinary experience for both strong and weak social ties), and that FOMO is an automatic phenomenon. FOMO had been commonly studied previously as an individual difference, but here I investigate situational circumstances that result in higher levels of FOMO for the general consumer population. Future research on this topic is encouraged to explore other consequences and ramifications of FOMO and how it affects consumers.
Van Solt, Michelle, "#FOMO: How the Fear of Missing Out Drives Consumer Purchase Decisions" (2019). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4268.
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