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The Definitions of Dysfunctional Consumer Behavior

Concepts, Content, and Questions


  • David Aron Dominican University
  • Olivia Kultgen Dominican University


The purpose of this research is to explore gaps in the understanding of dysfunctional consumer behavior (DCB) that might provide direction for future research and help firms understand the blind spots that might exist in their provision of satisfying consumer outcomes. From the marketer’s perspective there are several questions that exist both inside and outside the mind of the consumer that would be of great value in helping avoid DCB and move toward an improved relationship with dissatisfied customers. This project examines numerous definitions of the various types of DCB from over the past 30 years. This research evaluated 18 of these terms and presented a set of questions of relevance to the marketer: when does DCB take place, what provokes it, and what does the dissatisfied consumer hope to gain from their actions. The current research raises these questions but to answer these questions, further investigation is needed.

Author Biography

David Aron, Dominican University

Professor of Marketing 

Dominican University

Brennan School of Business

Department of Management, Marketing, and International Business




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