Dr. Enav Friedmann
Department of Management
Gender differences in consumers' multi-attribute product choice processes
I examine the differences between men and women in preference and choice purchase processes of multi-attribute products when facing a set of alternatives. Despite the rich literature on cognitive and personality differences between genders, no explanations based on socio-biological gender theories were provided that explain the existence of those differences in the choice process. In accordance to socio-biological theories, it was hypothesized that in preference and choice models, the intrinsic attributes (functional attribute: the product's performance and quality of components) will be significant predictors for men; while among women the extrinsic attributes (social and hedonic attributes) will be significant. Survey data were collected from 658 respondents (306 men and 352 women) using a closed-question questionnaire about 6 product categories (car, laptop, sports shoes, jeans, liquid soap and sausage). The results show that the tendencies of gender differences were quite consistent. As hypothesized, for women the hedonic attribute was positively related to preference and choice. Unexpectedly, it was found that social attribute was more significantly associated to preference among men than among women, and significantly related to men's choice probabilities. Furthermore, gender differences are evident only in high involvement products. Specifically, for men the functional and social attributes are related more strongly to preference while for women, the hedonic attribute is related more strongly to preference. Hedonistic considerations were more important for women in high involvement products than in low. In addition it was found that for women only, all the relationships in the model for high involvement products were different from the model in low involvement products.