Sample Research Design

The aim of this research design is to state the research questions, the research hypothesis, and to identify the unit of analysis. The paper also provides a justification for the choice of the quantitative method over qualitative method. Moreover, it provides a detailed description of the design of the study by explaining the specifics of the PAD model, sample size, and the location of the study. Justification for all these choices will also be presented. Additionally, this research design addresses practical aspects such as access.

The research paper will be based on the following three research questions:

  1. To what extent do emotions influence the choice of shopping centers and traditional retailing areas?
  2. How do emotions influence the consumer decision-making process within the shopping centers and traditional retailing areas?
  3. What does the emotional influences say about the gap between old generations and young people in terms of shopping behavior and preferences?

As a guideline for the research process, the following hypothesis will be used:

“Emotions affect all segments of shoppers who go shopping in traditional retailing areas such as street markets as well as those who prefer to go to modern shopping centers. There is a growing gap between the old and young generations in terms of their choice of street shops. Emotions constitute a dominant variable in these difference, and this is evident in the way young and old people living in inner city areas in Turkey choose specific street shops due to their acquaintance with shopkeepers they talk to, the bargains offered, and the trust they have on the familiar goods and services offered in those shops.”

In this study, the unit of analysis will be emotions. This choice is informed by research trends indicating that a measure of emotions can be used to provide insights into the rationale for the shopping behavior of various consumers. On the other hand, the choice of research design is informed by objective of capturing emotions during the consumer decision-making process. Thus, it will be possible to tell whether certain consumers’ choices were influenced by the emotions captured in the data obtained. On this basis, the study will answer the question regarding the role emotions play in determining shopping behavior among young and old people in Turkey.

In terms of the justification for the quantitative method, the quantitative method will be used, specifically the Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance (PAD) model, to measure emotions among participants. The idea behind the PAD scale is that it is possible for emotions among consumers to be measured in terms of the pleasure-displeasure, dominance-submissiveness, and arousal-non-arousal continuums. Through these measurements, the researcher can make a decision on the degree of satisfaction, perception of ability to control a situation, and the extent to which a consumer feels that he is alert and stimulated in a given shopping situation.

The PAD scale is also preferred as a quantitative methodology because it can be used to measure emotional stimulation in diverse shopping environments. It can be used to measure emotional arousal in even the most complex and novel shopping situations. The data that is gathered in such situations can be used to determine the extent to which emotions influence the choice of shopping centers the entire purchase decision process, and the gap between older and young consumers in terms of their shopping behavior and preferences. Moreover, the research approach is at the heart of the relationship between the consumer and the retail environment (Massara, Liu & Melara, 2010). In this regard, the consumer-environment interaction theory is seen to support the use of the PAD model (Massara, Liu & Melara, 2010). This means that the study may also provide useful information to consumers, especially those who want to find out the nature of discrepancies between the pleasure and arousal that they expect and the one that they experience.

Mehrabian (1995) provides comprehensive background literature on the PAD model. The background literature also provides a lot of information that justifies the use of the model in the present study. For example, Mehrabian (1995) states that the scale can be used for hypothesis testing in relation to different issues, including consumers’ response to a store décor, an advertisement, or an architectural design. Regarding validity, Mehrabian (1995) presents extensive experimental data that successfully validates the PAD Emotion Scales. Mehrabian (1997) has also provided addition validity data.

Quantitative models such as the PAD scale are useful because they provide a summary of marketing research data in a manner that makes it possible for useful conclusions to be derived. It facilitates the process of generating preference data based on which relationships between explanatory variables and different marketing variables can be established (Franses & Paap, 2004). Recent advances in the techniques of collecting and storing data have made it even easier for quantitative research to be carried out. These developments make it possible for consumer researchers to not only analyze what consumers indicate they do (stated preference) but also determine what those consumers actually do (revealed preference) (Franses & Paap, 2004). This enables researchers to determine what precisely drives consumers into going for certain preferences.

Regarding the issue of emotions and their impact on shopping behavior, a researcher will want to gather as much research data as possible and to analyze it using graphic tools and modelling techniques to understand the consumers’ actions better. In most cases, the process of analyzing data involves the use of quantitative models. Such models are necessary in the researchers’ efforts to determine different correlations between explanatory variables that measure behavioral variables and marketing-response variables.

The quantitative methodology is also widely preferred in situations where context-dependent research needed to be undertaken. This essentially means that the methodology fits in well with the classification of marketing as a process that comprises of different stages. In this regard, consumer behavior is viewed as one of these processes. At the same time, marketing variables tend to be interdependent, meaning that a quantitative approach provides the best framework through which the relationships among them can be defined (Baker & Hart, 2008).

In terms of the specifics of the research design, the location of the study will be Turkey. The name of the shopping center is Panora while that of the traditional retailing areas is Ulus Bazaar, and both of them are in Ankara Province. The study will be conducted using survey data. To obtain this data, the researcher will ask three groups of questions. The first one is the personal characteristics of consumers, which include age, marital status, sex, level of education, the date they moved to the city, number of children (if any), and occupation. The second group of questions will target their preferences for shopping centers and traditional retail areas. Specifically, they will be required to indicate whether they prefer shopping areas or traditional retail areas, how often they visit each of those retail areas, and the reason for which they visit them. The third group of questions will address the consumers’ perceptions of goods and markets. Specifically, they will focus on what the consumers’ preferences are whenever they buy a good, whether the brand is more important than the shopkeeper or vice versa, and whether the behavior of sellers is important in their decision making.

To address the practical aspect of access, the researcher will present a clearly worded ethical consent form indicating that all the information that the participants will provide will be handled with utmost confidentiality and will not be disclosed to third parties. The form will also contain a section indicating that the data gathered will be used purely for academic purposes. Expectedly, these safeguards will reassure participants about the genuineness of the study while helping to arraign any privacy concerns thereby boosting participation levels.

The study will involve the use of full-length emotion scale as outlined in the PAD model. The objective will be to assess various emotions in a precise way. The full-length scales comprise of a 16-item scale measuring the pleasure-displeasure continuum, a 9-item measuring the arousal-non-arousal scale, and a 9-item scale measuring the dominance-submissiveness continuum. Items in these scales will be intermixed to form a 34-item inventory to eliminate instances of subject awareness of various scale dimensions. For each of the 34 items, participants will be required to check-mark one of the nine spaces described by an adjective besides them to indicate their feelings regarding a specific shopping-related situation.

The test will be undertaken within about seven minutes, and the administrator does not have to be physically present when the participants are check-marking the papers. The findings will be hand-scored to yield three total-scale scores. Next, an interpretation manual containing a complete scale, norms, as well as scoring directions will be referred to as part of the process of analyzing and interpreting results.

A sample of 500 participants who shop at the two retail centers will be targeted for the. These participants will be identified used the random sampling method. The choice of this sample size may be justified by the fact that it closely mirrors that of Mehrabian (1995), who conducted a field survey with a sample of 590 participants with a view to test the validity of the PAD model. Another study that can be used to justify the validity of the sample size is Lee, Ha & Widdows (2011); in this case, the sample size was 408, and the purpose of the study was to investigate how consumer responses were influenced by high-technology attributes.

The quantitative analysis will be implemented based on the total data collected. The first step in this analysis will involve quantifying responses to the questions for employment in descriptive analyses. Specifically, descriptive statistics will be employed for empirical analysis. This approach will provide an opportunity for the researcher to test the impact of personal/demographic characteristics as well as the perceptions and emotional confidence. This testing will be carried out using a descriptive approach, with focus being on the interpretation of the data in the context of the shopping centers and traditional retail areas in Turkey.

 

References

Baker, M. & Hart, S. (Eds.) (2008). The Marketing Book, Sixth Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.

Franses, P. & Paap, R. (2004). Quantitative Models in Marketing Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lee, S., Ha, S. & Widdows, R. (2011). Consumer responses to high-technology products: Product attributes, cognition, and emotions. Journal of Business Research, 64(11), 1195–1200.

Massara, F., Liu, S. & Melara, R. (2010). Adapting to a retail environment: Modeling consumer–environment interactions. Journal of Business Research, 63(7), 673–681.

Mehrabian, A. (1995). Framework for a comprehensive description and measurement of emotional states. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 121(3), 339-361.

Mehrabian, A. (1997). Analysis of Affiliation-Related Traits in Terms of the PAD Temperament Model. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 131(1), 101-117.

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