Preliminary Tests of the Consumer Normalcy Scale: An Abstract
This study develops a scale based on the concept of “consumer normalcy,” which is composed of four dimensions: (1) ability to participate in the marketplace, (2) demonstrating competence and control, (3) achieving distinction, and (4) being perceived as an equal. This important new construct can be used as a tool to more fully understand the experience of an individual who feels he or she has been discriminated against in the marketplace based on demographic characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation/preference, or disability. The scale is tested in two large random samples using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, where one sample shows how consumer normalcy is directly connected to avoidance of the offending retailer and how this effect along with the scale’s measurement capabilities are stronger in the demographic-based service failure condition. The Consumer Normalcy Scale may provide a valuable tool for other scholars who may be interested in conducting research in areas of marketplace diversity and discrimination as well. The diversity of the marketplace requires investigation of differential treatment of consumers, along with the ramifications for firms who do not implement appropriate policies to prevent the occurrence of such service failures. This scale provides a view into the psychological mechanisms of how and why consumers feel as though they have been discriminated against along with a prediction of subsequent anti-firm behaviors. Following the proven processes for scale development has led to the achievement of favorable results in both validity and reliability considerations. This scale measures what it purports to measure and should be relied on to provide valid and consistent results. These were preliminary tests, and further exploration into the scale’s behavior in different populations is anticipated.