Understanding leisure consumption through modeling processes that underlie TV viewing, Internet use, and retail shopping

Date of Completion

January 2005


Business Administration, Marketing|Psychology, Social|Mass Communications




The present study was an attempt to integrate diverse research on leisure motives and present a unifying understanding of processes that underlie television viewing, internet use, and retail shopping. The uses and gratifications paradigm provided theoretical explanations. Two consistent strategies of leisure consumption---instrumental (or cognitive) and ritualized (or affective)---were suggested. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate any direct, indirect, or non-recursive effects of leisure consumption strategies on consumption, satisfaction, addiction, and affinity across the three contexts. Gender, self-esteem, need for cognition, alienation, and aggressiveness were also included in the models. Mediating effects of television genres, internet activities, and shopping types on the general consumption process were assessed in additional analyses. ^ 664 undergraduate students filled out an online questionnaire. Confirmatory factor analyses were performed on all scales. Affinity scale was the only one to show poor construct validity and was excluded from the study. CFA's supported presence of the two consistent leisure strategies. The instrumental strategy included learning, dreaming, socializing, and cognitive processing dimensions. The ritualized strategy included entertainment, pass time, and affective processing dimensions. ^ Consistent findings. Both satisfaction and addiction predicted general leisure consumption. The ritualized strategy increased leisure satisfaction and the instrumental strategy increased leisure addiction. Female gender increased use of the ritualized strategy, whereas alienation decreased it. Need for cognition and aggressiveness increased use of the instrumental strategy, whereas self-esteem decreased it. Overall, high self-esteem served as a buffer against addiction and increased satisfaction. Aggressiveness increased leisure behaviors, either through addictions or direct use. ^ Contextual differences. The ritualized strategy increased internet use and shopping addiction, though to a lesser degree than the instrumental strategy. Alienation increased use of the instrumental television strategy, whereas need for cognition decreased television satisfaction. Television addiction positively predicted satisfaction. Female gender increased shopping satisfaction and shopping behavior and decreased television viewing. Finally, non-recursive relationships between the two strategies were tested. Positive non-recursive effects were supported in the context of shopping. The ritualized strategy had a positive effect on the instrumental strategy in the context of television, whereas the opposite was true in the context of internet use. ^ Theoretical and social implications are discussed. ^