The Effects of Augmented Reality (AR) Modality and User-Virtual Product Interaction Design on Consumers’ Product Evaluation: A Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory Perspective
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Consumer and Design Sciences
Restriction TypeAuburn University Users
MetadataShow full item record
Given the rise of augmented reality (AR) application in retail settings as well as the recognition of theoretical and empirical literature gap in how consumers’ product evaluation can be shaped by AR, this research investigated the effects of AR Modality and User-Virtual Product (VP) Interaction design factors in a mobile shopping app on consumers’ cognitive and experiential processing of product information and product attitude. For this investigation, the AR-Based Cognitive-Experiential Product Evaluation Model [AR-CEPEM] was proposed as a theoretical framework by integrating the cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST) that posits dual information processing systems, including rational and experiential systems, with two learning theories, cognitive load theory (CLT) and experiential learning theory (ELT). An online experiment using a 2 (AR Modality: visual-only modality vs. visual + auditory modality) × 2 (User-VP Interaction: yes vs. no interaction) × 2 (Product: a watch vs. a flower vase) mixed design was conducted with a national sample of 480 U.S. mobile shoppers aged between 18 to 54 that was recruited via a sampling company. Results revealed that both the rational and experiential systems of product information processing were at work during consumers’ simulated AR-based mobile shopping. Specifically, for the rational system, consumers’ level of cognitive attention positively influenced their perceived utilitarian value of a product influenced, which eventually influenced their product attitude. Similarly, for the experiential system, consumers’ level of sense of presence positively influenced their perceived hedonic value of a product, which also influenced their product attitude. The two AR design factors did not significantly affect the proposed dependent variables. However, when there was an interaction effect between User-VP Interaction × Product, sense of presence was affected. Also, the interaction effect of AR Modality × User VP-Interaction × Product was significant for perceived utilitarian value of a product. The results overall suggested that the effect of the AR design factors differed between the two products. The current study contributes to the existing AR and consumer behavior literature by demonstrating the psychological mechanisms responsible for product information processing during AR-based product evaluation. The two variables identified in this study to represent the rational and experiential systems—cognitive attention and sense of presence, respectively— significantly impacted consumers’ evaluation of the utilitarian and hedonic values of a product on an AR mobile shopping app. Furthermore, the study provides theoretical implications for the CLT and ELT literature by extending their applicability to consumers’ product information learning in the AR environment. From practical standpoints, the findings of this study highlight a need to consider tailoring AR design features in a retailer’s mobile shopping app depending upon the type of products carried. The findings benefit marketers and retailers in designing their mobile shopping apps to enhance consumers’ overall product shopping experiences.