Reference Points in Consumer Choice Models: A Review and Future Research Agenda
International Journal of Consumer Studies ,
Reference-dependent consumer preference and choice have been the focus of marketing and behavioural decision researchers for decades. Researchers have proposed different ways of incorporating reference-dependent consumer preference into quantitative models. No extant research, however, systematically examines and evaluates these modelling methods. As more empirical research on reference-dependent preference emerges in different areas, this review is both timely and of great importance. The paper pays special attention to empirical articles that incorporate reference points into consumer choice models and classifies the models in terms of reference point operationalization, model framework and reference point heterogeneity. By comparing and evaluating various conceptualizations of reference points and extant empirical choice models, we seek to provide guidance and directions in terms of theory, contexts and methodology (TCM) to future researchers with different application areas and focus of studies. The paper synthesizes the previous findings and identifies current research gaps, which allow us to provide future directions in this research domain.