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Hyperopia and frugality: Different motivational drivers and yet similar effects on consumer spending


The effects of hyperopia and frugality on spending have not been directly compared. Moreover, previous research on hyperopia has focused on the avoidance of luxury spending, rather than spending on routine consumer goods. We address these gaps in the literature by comparing how hyperopia and frugality affect monthly spending, and spending on ordinary consumer goods. Our survey indicates that both tendencies relate to lower monthly spending. Our shopping experiment extends these findings by showing that both hyperopic and frugal consumers avoid purchasing higher priced consumer goods when lower priced substitutes are available. Our findings contribute to the literature, which suggests that hyperopic consumers avoid indulgent luxuries, by showing that they also avoid higher priced routine consumer goods and exhibit lower monthly spending, similar to frugal consumers, but for fundamentally different reasons. Hyperopia inhibits spending by lowering the motivation to spend, while frugality inhibits spending by increasing the motivation to save.

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