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COVID-19 and extremeness aversion: the role of safety seeking in travel decision making

Kim, Jungkeun, Park, Jooyoung, Lee, Jaeseok, Kim, Seongseop (Sam), Gonzalez-Jimenez, Hector, Lee, Jaehoon, Choi, Yung Kyun, Lee, Jacob C., Jang, Seongsoo, Franklin, Drew, Spence, Mark T. and Marshall, Roger 2021. COVID-19 and extremeness aversion: the role of safety seeking in travel decision making. Journal of Travel Research 10.1177/00472875211008252

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Combining conceptual perspectives from emerging research on COVID-19, safety-seeking motivations, and extremeness aversion in choice (i.e., compromise effects), we examine how and why the perceived threat of COVID-19 affects consumers’ choice and decision making in the hotel and restaurant domains. Across seven studies (two studies from secondary data sets and five experimental studies), we provide novel evidence that the perceived threat or threat salience of COVID-19 amplifies the general tendency to select compromise options, avoiding extreme ones, within a choice set. We highlight the role of safety-seeking motivations as the underlying mechanism in the relationship between perceived threat and extremeness aversion in choice. We further document a boundary condition that the extremeness aversion effect is stronger for leisure travelers than for business travelers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0047-2875
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 24 February 2021
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 16:29

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