Satisfaction Theory and the Disadvantaged Consumer


  • Diane Halstead
  • Michael Jones
  • April Cox


Previous research suggests that satisfaction processes may vary across different types of products and different time periods, but little research has sought to determine if satisfaction processes vary across different consumer groups. This qualitative study of disadvantaged consumers compares the existing satisfaction paradigm with consumers' actual consumption experiences to highlight limitations and deficiencies with the current theory as it applies to disadvantaged consumers. The results indicate that disadvantaged consumers do not seem to form or articulate prepurchase expectations, while performance, equity, and affect appear to play strong roles in their satisfaction judgments. Equity in terms of interactional fairness was especially dominant for services. The disadvantaged consumers in this study also failed to complain when dissatisfied, passively accepting inferior service and products. Implications for researchers, public policy makers, and marketing managers are discussed.



Journal Articles