Skip to main content


Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Ali Heydari, Marketing

Three essays on the role of indulgence vs restraint in consumer behavior

Date & time

Thursday, September 24, 2020 (all day)


This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Daniela Ferrer



The purpose of this thesis is to conceptualize and develop a valid and reliable scale for the sixth dimension of Hofstede’s cultural framework (Hofstede 1980; 2001; Hofstede et al. 2010), indulgence vs restraint, at the individual level. It also examines the impact of individual-level indulgence vs restraint on two areas of consumer behavior, hedonic-utilitarian attitudes and vice-virtue consumption. Despite the importance and relevance of indulgence vs. restraint, its influence on consumer behavior and other areas of human behavior has remained largely unexamined. This is mainly because of the lack of an appropriate scale for measuring this cultural dimension at the individual level.
In the first essay, following Churchill’s (1979) approach, first by using data collected from a survey we purified the initial pool of 40 items to the final 6-items scale for indulgence vs restraint at the individual level. The second survey study of this essay confirmed the excellent reliability of the scale. In study 3, using an online survey, the scale showed a significant correlation with constructs associated with indulgence vs. restraint, establishing the criterion validity of the scale. Moreover, the results of studies 1 to 3 established the individual-level indulgence scale’s convergent validity and its discriminant validity against hyperopia and self-control.
In the second essay, to demonstrate the nomological validity of the construct, we developed and tested a nomological network including individual-level indulgence in the contexts of restaurant revisit and car or cellphone repurchase via an online survey. The results showed that hedonic and utilitarian attitudes mediate the impact of individual-level indulgence on repurchase intentions and WOM intention. Furthermore, the impact of individual-level indulgence on hedonic and utilitarian attitudes is mediated by positive post-purchase emotions (confidence and delight).
In the third essay, using an online survey, we investigated the influence of individual-level indulgence on vice and virtue consumption behavior in the context of food consumption. For all three pairs of snacks in the study, the results of binary logistic regression show that indulgence vs restraint is a strong predictor of preference between vice and virtue. In other words, compared to low-indulgence people, high-indulgence people are more likely to choose vice over virtue.

Back to top Back to top

© Concordia University