Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Youn-Kyung Kim

Committee Members

Ann Fairhurst, Robert T. Ladd, Jeremy Whaley


This study integrates the simple information-processing model (Bettman, 1979) and the cognitive-experiential self-theory (Epstein, 1998) to delineate the hierarchical structure of individual differences, responses, and consumer behavioral tendencies toward eco-fashion. The results indicate that consumers’ need for variety positively influences their affective responses and eventually their purchase intention toward and willingness to pay more for eco-fashion. However, the results do not support the relationship between consumers’ fashion interest and affective responses. Moreover, consumers’ ecological consciousness and social consciousness positively influence their cognitive responses and eventually their purchase intention and willingness to pay more toward eco-fashion. Further, consumers’ cognitive responses have very strong effects on their affective responses toward eco-fashion.

The model developed for this study has broadened the application of IOP (Information Processing Model) and CEST (Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory). First, the results reveal that affective responses and cognitive responses to eco-fashion are determined by individual differences in need for variety, ecological consciousness, and social consciousness. Second, the results provide empirical evidence of the cognitive-affective response approach in an eco-fashion context. Moreover, when consumers’ behaviors are driven by logic thinking, their cognitive dissonance can be reduced because consumers’ logic thinking can lead to their favorable feelings toward eco-fashion and reduce their discomfort about eco-fashion’s high price and the lack of aesthetic design.

A closer examination of the results reveals that ecological consciousness has a stronger impact on cognitive responses than social consciousness, indicating that consumers’ ecological consciousness is a particularly important predictor of their cognitive responses. In addition, cognitive responses toward eco-fashion have stronger effects on purchase intention than affective responses toward eco-fashion, implying that consumers’ cognitive responses are much stronger predictors of their purchase intention toward eco-fashion.

To effectively promote eco-fashion, marketers can encourage consumers’ desire for variety by emphasizing the innovative attributes of eco-fashion offerings and diversifying the styles and designs of eco-fashion to enhance consumers’ affective responses. Marketers can also advertise ecological attributes of eco-fashion such as low impact dyes to enhance consumers’ cognitive responses. The positive cognitive responses can eventually enhance consumers’ affective responses because their cognitive responses have a very strong effect on their affective responses.

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