This research was designed to expand the applications of Psychological Distance (PD) Theory by studying the effects of time on the importance of criteria used to evaluate institutions of higher learning. It is intended to help administrators market more effectively by determining how future intentions (to go back to school someday) transition into specific purchase behavior (enrolling at this school now). This study used an experimental quantitative methodology. Research into the weighting of decision criteria was measured with paired t-tests of importance ratings and scores of the seven variables (cost-per-credit, transfer credit awarded, course length, school reputation, quality of faculty/instruction, placement rate, availability of online coursework) at T1 and T2. The relationships between time to enrollment and the degree of change for each of the dependent variables were measured by a one-way ANOVA. Research participants were 292 students enrolled in two online, accredited bachelor degree programs. Research findings did not support temporal PD theory. Only school reputation changed in both importance ratings (p x.0001) and scorings (p = .0004) in the direction indicated by PD theory. Contrary to expectations, with the exception of online coursework , all feasibility criteria decreased in importance at T2. Secondly, the amount of time between T1 and T2 had no significant impact on the importance of any of the criterion. Of all seven criteria, only the change in the rating of school reputation was significantly different (p = .0009) for one time group (1-2 year difference between T1 and T2); F (4, 30) = 4.84. Results suggest several limitations which merit future study; including research into how construal level is impacted by newness, memory, small choice sets, and hypotheticality. Recommendations include delineating the boundaries around PD theory by evaluating how the effects of temporal distance are either supported or negated by 1) consumers and purchase newness 2) the cost of the product/service 3) the significance of the product/service 4) the importance of applying this theory to real-world purchases with meaningful risks and rewards for the consumer. Finally future studies should require a force-ranking exercise to encourage the student to prioritize each criterion.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Marketing, Higher Education Administration|
|Keywords:||Construal-level theory, Online education, Psychological distance, Temporal distance|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be